Saturday 10 June 2023

The Formula 1 stc Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021

Tweaks ahead of the world’s fastest street circuit

JEDDAH, January 27, 2022

Ahead of the Formula 1 stc Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2022 the organisers promise greater spectator experience, enhanced fan zones, revised grandstand locations and better traffic management systems in place for the March event.
Chief Executive Officer of the Saudi Motorsport Company, the Race Promoter, Martin Whitaker says: “This time the Jeddah’s Corniche will be further expanded to include more sport and leisure facilities, hotels and restaurants. The circuit itself will be subjected to small layout changes to improve sightlines for this year’s race.”
In exactly two months the Jeddah Corniche Circuit will once again roar into life as the world’s most exciting sport descends on the Red Sea coastline for the. After the huge success of the country’s debut F1 race last season, the port city of Jeddah will play host to the second round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship from March 25 to 27, 2022.
Moreover, the Saudi Motorsport Company plans to develop community and sustainability projects and maximise business networking opportunities, says Whitaker.
Following on from the dramatic event last December, the sport’s longest and fastest street circuit will again test the world’s best drivers to the limit, as they take to the 27-turn floodlit course at speeds averaging over 252km/h.
Arch-rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will recommence their battle for supremacy on track, but will they still be at the front of the field? This year every team will arrive in Jeddah with new cars, built to revised technical regulations designed to make the racing more spectacular.
“The Formula 1 stc Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021 was a tremendous success and both the scale of the event and its impact was far larger than we dared to expect,” said Whitaker. “It was a phenomenal race and a terrific showcase for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
“There’s no doubt about it, the drivers loved the track. From the moment they left the pits on Friday afternoon it was clear they relished the challenge of this venue,” says Whitaker.
In total, just under 140,000 spectators visited the Jeddah Corniche Circuit across the three-day event and with the excitement of the FIA Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship on the line, it was one of the most-watched races on TV in the history of the sport.
Despite its success, small revisions will be made to the circuit to enrich both the spectator experience for visiting fans and to amend the quality of the track for the drivers. 
Sightlines will be improved from the perspective of the cockpit, while revisions will be made to grandstand angles, Fanzones and traffic management.
“Every single person who attended the race thought it was amazing,” says Whitaker. “Yes, it was our first F1 event so there were always going to be teething troubles, but don’t forget the whole facility had been constructed in less than eight months, so it was a phenomenal achievement by the team and all the contractors.
“But with a little bit of time before our second race, we are working flat-out behind the scenes to ensure the experience for all our fans will be even bigger and better than before.”
“We had always agreed that the race would be at the beginning of the season, and it makes good sense from a logistical point of view to be in Bahrain one week and in Saudi Arabia the next. The desire to stage the first race in 2021, meant that it wasn’t physically possible to have it any earlier than December due to the time required to build the track but going forward the race will be scheduled in March each year,” he said.
One of the main areas of building work has been to expand the Corniche in Jeddah by approximately 3.5 km, so that it now extends all the way up to the new Marina. 
The Corniche is a focal point for the community and both local residents and tourists can now enjoy a greater waterfront walkway, cycle lanes, new restaurants and hotels. 
The whole area is continuing to be landscaped to create a beautiful environment for people to relax or to enjoy their leisure time with sports such as basketball, beach soccer and volleyball or outdoor gyms. The extended Corniche is delivering something new for the community, which is also at the heart of the sustainability mission.
“Not only are we one of the first circuits and promoters to have an imbedded sustainability team, but we are also in the process of creating a case study for Formula 1 so they can promote what we have been doing. It isn’t just about reducing plastic use, we have managed bigger projects such as the regeneration of the lagoon, which was an area of land in Jeddah falling into disrepair. Our environment-friendly work mirrors the Saudi Vision 2030 policy of the kingdom and fits in with the activations of local companies, such as Aramco and Petromin.”
About future plans, he says the most important thing is that the long-term future of a race in Saudi Arabia is secure. The construction of Qiddiya near Riyadh is on-going, but the focus is very much on Jeddah at the moment and about maximising the opportunities on this fantastic circuit. 
“There are very few like the one we have on the Corniche, which is challenging, dynamic, long, and super-fast and in such a stunning location. Jeddah continues to be a dynamic shop window for the country, not only from a sporting perspective but for the business community too.”
“We plan to build awareness that F1 is a great platform, not only for Saudi companies to showcase their businesses but to welcome global corporations to the country too. Formula 1 presents a great opportunity to do business and also offers a backdrop for people to enjoy networking in a more relaxed atmosphere,” he added.-- TradeArabia News Service


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