An action-packed F1 weekend at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Get up to speed with the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix happening from December 3 to 5…
The first-ever race weekend is upon us at the brand-new Jeddah Corniche circuit.
The event follows the traditional format, with two practice sessions on Friday, December 3, before the third practice and qualifying on Saturday, December 4. The 50-lap Grand Prix will then be held on Sunday, December 5, evening.
This spectacular circuit on the shores of the Red Sea is something of the unknown. Having never been raced on before, it will be a new adventure for the drivers.
However, what we do know is it’s going to be incredibly fast around this 6.174-kilometre circuit – it is, after all, the world’s fastest street circuit. But, just how fast are we talking?
Jeddah is set to rewrite the rules of racing
The cars will hit an eye-watering top speed of 322km/h, with a staggering average speed of 252.8km/h, which incidentally is slower only than Monza based on this year’s schedule.
In addition, the Jeddah Corniche circuit boasts more corners than any other circuit on the 2021 calendar, with a total of 27. Sixteen of those sweeping corners are left-handers, and eleven are right.
The sequence of corners from Turn 4 to Turn 10 creates a fast, flowing ‘S’ section, while the 12-degree banked Turn 13 hairpin is expected to be a high G-load (around 4.9 lateral G) and high-stress circuit for the drivers.
It’s just one of the record-breaking design features that will push the drivers to the limit as they strive to win their place on the podium.
There are also three Drag Reduction System (DRS) zones, and they’re sure to tee up plenty of opportunities for overtaking.
With Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton still vying for the honours in 2021, the on-track drama will continue as F1 rolls into Saudi Arabia for the first time.
Other on-track action
As well as Formula 1, junior series Formula 2 (F2) will also be in action over the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend. F2 last raced at the Russian Grand Prix in September, and only two rounds remain in their 2021 season.
Reigning F3 champion Oscar Piastri currently leads the way in the title battle. Three F2 races will take place, with two Sprint events and a Feature Race.
Further racing action will come courtesy of Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East. There will be additional on-track demonstrations, as well as flypasts and other entertainment.
Here’s the 2021 F1 Saudi Arabian GP full schedule…
Friday December 3
Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East first practice session: 12.35pm to 1.20pm
FIA Formula 2 practice session: 1.45pm to 2.30pm
Formula 1 pit stop practice: 2.40pm to 3.10pm
SAGP Supercar: 3.20pm to 3.50pm
Formula 1 – Practice 1: 4.30pm to 5.30pm
Saudi F1 demo: 5.45pm to 6pm
FIA Formula 2 qualifying session: 6.20pm to 6.50pm
Formula 1 Practice 2: 8pm to 9pm
Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East second practice session: 9.50pm to 10.35pm
Saturday December 4
Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East qualifying session: 1.50pm to 2.20pm
Formula 1 team pit stop practice: 2.30pm to 3pm
FIA Formula 2 first race (20 laps or 45mins + 1 lap): 3.30pm to 4.20pm
Formula 1 Practice 3: 5pm to 6pm
SAGP Supercar: 6.05pm to 6.35pm
Saudi F1 demo: 6.40pm to 6.55pm
Formula 1 Qualifying: 8pm to 9pm
FIA Formula 2 second race (20 laps or 45mins + 1 lap): 9.40pm to 10.30pm
Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East first race (10 laps or 25mins): 11.25pm to 11.55pm
Sunday December 5
SAGP Supercar: 2pm to 2.30pm
Saudi F1 demo: 2.35pm to 2.50pm
Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East second race (10 laps or 25mins): 3.55pm to 4.25pm
FIA Formula 2 third race (28 laps or 60mins + 1 lap): 5.25pm to 6.30pm
Formula 1 drivers’ parade: 6.50pm to 7.20pm
Formula 1 national anthem: 8.14pm to 8.16pm
Formula 1 Grand Prix Race (50 laps or 120mins): 8.30pm to 10.30pm
Treat yourself to three high-octane days
Ticket holders will be treated to a weekend of awe-inspiring racing action on track, as well as three days of non-stop entertainment and live music experiences off-track. There will also be exclusive experiences to keep all ages entertained.
The end of each day will be marked by performances featuring several international stars. French producer DJ Snake and Egyptian pop singer Mohamed Hamaki will headline the opening concert on Friday night.
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Jason Derulo and Tiësto will perform on Saturday after the qualifying session. Justin Bieber, A$AP Rocky, and David Guetta will headline the post-race concerts on Sunday. The concerts will be held in the Jeddah Corniche Fan Zone, and entry is accessible to all Grand Prix ticket holders.
Tickets for general admission, Southern Grandstand and Central Grandstand are still available. The Southern Grandstands are located at the final corner of the track, while seats in the Central Grandstands give views of the complex between Turns 4 and 10.
As this is the first running of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, it’s difficult to know exactly how public transport options will impact the race weekend. However, we recommend travelling to the track by taxi or ride-sharing – Uber is a good option.
We definitely can’t wait to see this magnificent track come to life to the beautiful sound of roaring engines this weekend. See you there.
Images: Instagram / Provided