The Jeddah Grand Prix: Formula 1 has found a new home in the coastal city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. After the opening round in Bahrain, the 2023 season will pick up steam with the Jeddah GP, a night race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. Following the F1 guest appearance in Jeddah, it's off to Australia - Melbourne.
The street circuit winds 6.175 kilometers along the Red Sea coast and, with 27 turns, places high demands on drivers. It is the second longest circuit on the Formula One calendar.
The stunning track in Jeddah, known for its skyscrapers including the Jeddah Tower and King Fahd Fountain, blends harmoniously with its spectacular surroundings. However, Formula 1 is likely to be seen in Riyadh in the near future. Starting in 2024, the Qiddiya Entertainment Complex, designed to host a variety of motorsport events and other entertainment such as camel studs and equestrian competitions, will serve as the new venue.
The Jeddah Grand Prix will be held for only the third time in 2023. Here are the previous winners of the race.
Saudi Arabia's involvement in Formula One is not without controversy. Some fans of the sport express dissatisfaction with the decision to hold races in one of Islam's most conservative countries. However, the large sponsorships and investments of up to $27 billion by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman put concerns in the background.
The high-horsepower bolides, which race through the streets of Jeddah at speeds of up to 320 km/h, symbolize Saudi Arabia's ambitious plans to join the world of Formula One. A ten-year agreement worth a staggering $900 million secured the country's hosting of the prestigious event.
Despite the shiny surface of Formula One in Saudi Arabia, there are concerns about human rights abuses in the country. Drivers like Lewis Hamilton have used their platform to highlight abuses. Hamilton's helmet in rainbow colors during races was a clear sign of support for the LGBT movement.
It remains to be seen whether sport can serve as a vehicle to promote change. The international attention given to Formula One could be a game changer.
The development of Formula One in Saudi Arabia is fascinating and complex. With tracks like the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Jeddah and the future Qiddiya Entertainment Complex in Riyadh, the country is setting new standards in the motorsports world. However, human rights concerns cannot be ignored. It remains to be seen what role sport will play in the country's further social development.
Jidda, one of Saudi Arabia's largest cities, is a popular tourist destination with a variety of attractions that combine history, culture and modern architecture. Here are some of the city's main attractions:
These and many other attractions make Jeddah a fascinating destination that offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity.
Those who want to watch Formula 1 for free and live on livestream, including the race in Saudi Arabia, can do so with a little trick.