Are you ready to immerse yourself in the unique and fascinating atmosphere of the Jeddah circuit? Amidst breathtaking curves with panoramic views of the Red Sea, just a few days ago on this track the third edition of the Saudi Arabian GP, the second round of the Formula 1 World Championship season, was consummated, won by Mexican Sergio Pérez on the Red Bull Racing-Honda RBPT, in his fifth career success. And immersed in the darkness of the night, the race came to life under floodlights painting the circuit with enchanting luminous magic, transforming the track into a world of its own, brightened by artificial lights.
Built in a record time of only 10 months, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit was born in 2021 thanks to the determination and professionalism of Hermann Tilke, already famous for his Shanghai and Yas Marina circuits. Located in the Corniche area, about 12 kilometers north of the city center, it is a true gem in the global automotive scene, with its track meandering along the Red Sea coast, giving spectators a breathtaking view.
But that's not all that makes it spectacular: with its unique "hairpin" shape that winds for an impressive 6,174 km, it is the second longest track in the World Championship, right after Spa-Francorchamps. Its 27 corners are all sinuous and fast, without a single right angle. This puts a strain on the single-seaters' braking systems, especially in Turn 1 where they go from 310 km/h to 103 km/h with a deceleration of 4.9 Gs, and in Turn 13, with its 12-degree inclination, which puts a strain on the tires and subjects the drivers to extremely intense gravitational forces. And then the proximity to the sea, which means only one thing: side winds give drivers a hard time, affecting their performance and testing their driving skills.
According to Brembo's classification, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit falls into the category of moderately demanding circuits for the braking system of Formula 1 single-seaters. Surprisingly, there are even five consecutive corners, from 8 to 12, where the brakes are not used because they are not essential for maintaining the trajectory on the asphalt. Suffice it to say that simulations indicate that drivers use the brakes for only 9.6 seconds during an entire lap: a figure comparable to that of the Imola circuit, despite the fact that Jeddah is almost 1.3 km longer.
Thanks to recent modifications to optimize visibility in some corners and kerbs in others, the track's safety has been greatly enhanced, but the real power of Jeddah lies in its unique nature: drivers find themselves speeding in very close contact with the barriers, enveloped in a crescendo of excitement that is amplified with each turn. But in the end, is this not the true essence of motorsport? A battle between the driver, the car and the asphalt, where risk and beauty come together.