1081st F1 GRAND PRIX | 3rd SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX | 3rd GRAND PRIX AT JEDDAH CORNICHE CIRCUIT
2022 POLESITTER: SERGIO PEREZ | 2022 WINNER: MAX VERSTAPPEN
Jeddah Corniche Circuit is the fastest street circuit on the Formula 1 calendar. The first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was held in 2021 – and it proved to be a highly dramatic affair! The 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is set to take place on March 17-19.
2023 SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday 17th March
Free Practice 1 – 4:30pm Local Time/ 1:30pm UK Time
Free Practice 2 – 8pm Local Time/ 5pm UK Time
Saturday 18th March
Free Practice 3 – 4:30pm Local Time/ 1:30pm UK Time
Qualifying – 8pm Local Time/ 5pm UK Time
Sunday 19th March
The 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – 8pm Local Time/ 5pm UK Time
2023 SADUI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX MILESTONES
- Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have each won one Saudi Arabian Grand Prix so far. Either driver could be the first to take multiple wins at Jeddah Corniche Circuit, while any other driver could become the third to have won here.
- Both Mercedes and Red Bull will be looking to become the first team to take multiple wins and multiple poles at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
- Lewis Hamilton or Sergio Perez could become the first driver to take multiple pole positions in Saudi Arabia.
- Max Verstappen is the only driver to record multiple podium finishes at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz could join him in that group at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
READ MORE IN MILESTONES AND RECORDS TO BREAK
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 2023 SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX
WHAT HAS CHANGED AT THE CIRCUIT SINCE LAST YEAR?
A number of changes to the circuit have been made since the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, mainly in a bid to improve driver safety. Walls have been realigned at Turns 8, 14 and 20, while Turns 22 and 23 have been realigned. Turn 22 now starts ten metres later, while Turn 23 has been moved by five metres.
In addition, mobile steel plate kerbs have been removed and replaced with permanent concrete kerbs all around the circuit and a row of TECPRO barrier has been installed on the left of Turn 11.
HOW MANY DRS ZONES WILL THERE BE AT THE 2023 SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX?
There will be three DRS zones at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. There were also three DRS zones at the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, though the final detection point has been moved for the 2023 race.
JEDDAH CORNICHE CIRCUIT TRACK GUIDE
Rumours of a Formula 1 race in Saudi Arabia have been ongoing for a number of years. In 2019, it was announced that a permanent circuit was to be built in Qiddiya, outside of capital city Riyadh. The plans were confirmed in January 2020.
Track designer Alex Wurz appeared with a number of past and present Formula 1 drivers – including World Champion Damon Hill, David Coulthard, Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean – in an event on the proposed site of the circuit. It was confirmed at the event that the circuit was designed to FIA Grade 1 standards, meaning that Formula 1 could theoretically race there – though not until 2023. Instead, for the time being at least, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will take place on the streets of Jeddah, the country’s second-largest city.
Saudi Arabia has attracted other major motorsport events in recent years. The Race of Champions, held at the King Fahd International Stadium in February 2018, was the first ever international motorsport event to take place in the country. Meanwhile, Formula E has raced in Diriyah since 2018 and the Dakar Rally has been held in the country in each of the past two years.
The track layout for the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was unveiled on 18th March 2021. The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is designed by Hermann Tilke, and is situated on the Jeddah Corniche. It is the fastest street circuit in Formula 1, with an average speed of over 250km/h. Race organisers say that the circuit – which has 27 turns set out over 6.175km – prioritises overtaking, rather than scenic views. The race takes place at night.
READ MORE IN OUR ULTIMATE TRACK GUIDE
WHO WILL BE IN THE 2023 SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX PRESS CONFERENCES?
The world’s media will have the opportunity to talk to the drivers on Friday morning before the opening practice session. The drivers appearing in the press conference are:
Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
Lando Norris (McLaren)
Alex Albon (Williams)
Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Sergio Pérez (Red Bull)
The media will also be talking to prominent members of Formula 1’s teams on Saturday morning. The team members appearing in the press conference are Alessandro Alunni Bravi (Alfa Romeo), Franz Tost (AlphaTauri), Toto Wolff (Mercedes) and James Vowles (Williams).
WHO WILL BE THE RACE DIRECTOR AT THE 2023 SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX?
Niels Wittich will make his second appearance as race director at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
WHO WILL BE THE DRIVER STEWARD AT THE 2023 SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX?
Each weekend a former Formula 1 driver, or a driver from another prominent series of motorsport, joins the stewards to help judge any incidents from a drivers’ perspective. The Driver Steward this weekend is Enrique Bernoldi.
WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE 2023 SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX
The weather forecast for the week ahead at the circuit currently looks like this:
WHICH TYRE COMPOUNDS WILL BE USED AT THE 2023 SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX?
Pirelli will supply the C2, C3 and C4 tyre compounds at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The same compounds were used at last year’s race.
In 2023, there are six compounds which Pirelli can nominate for use over a race weekend. In addition to the previous C1-C5 offering, the C0 tyre has been introduced. C0 is the equivalent of 2022’s C1 tyre, while the 2023 C1 tyre slots between the 2022 C1 and C2 equivalents.
WHAT HAPPENED AT LAST YEAR’S SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX?
Max Verstappen claimed his first win of the 2022 season at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, on a race weekend which was overshadowed by a nearby missile strike.
F1 returned to Jeddah Corniche Circuit just over 100 days after the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Friday’s opening practice sessions were overshadowed by a missile strike on a nearby oil depot during Free Practice 1. The second practice session was delayed as a result and the drivers and other F1 representatives met on Friday night to discuss the continuation of the race weekend. After four and a half hours, at almost 3am, the drivers agreed to continue with the remainder of the weekend after being reassured over safety measures.
Plenty of drivers missed apexes and cut corners through the practice sessions but it wasn’t until qualifying that drivers pushed to the limits. Nicholas Latifi was first to fall victim to Jeddah Corniche Circuit’s close walls, crashing out in Q1. Mercedes’ nightmare start to the season continued with Lewis Hamilton eliminated in the first stage of qualifying.
Mick Schumacher then suffered a heavy crash in Q2. He was sent to hospital as a precaution and did not take part in the race. Qualifying resumed after a lengthy delay and Sergio Perez took his first pole position in Formula 1.
On Sunday, Yuki Tsunoda failed to start the race following an engine issue on his way to the grid. That left just 18 starters. Perez maintained his lead at the start of the race. The opening laps passed largely without incident, though the two Alpines came close to making contact on the pit straight. The Safety Car was called out on Lap 16 following a crash for Nicholas Latifi.
Perez had just pitted when the Safety Car was called. The other frontrunners pitted under Safety Car conditions, meaning Charles Leclerc was able to inherit the lead while the Mexican fell to fourth place.
A number of cars broke down in a short period of time: Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas all came to a halt. After a short VSC period, an enticing duel followed between Leclerc and Max Verstappen, each trying to outwit one another, tactically slowing down before the DRS detection point. Verstappen ultimately emerged victorious, taking his first win of 2022. Carlos Sainz completed the podium positions.
WHAT’S THE FASTEST EVER LAP AT THE SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX?
Attending the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix? Learn more about visiting Jeddah Corniche Circuit in the F1Destinations Travel Guide.