Jeddah Corniche Circuit undergoes changes ahead of F1 return

Changes have been made in cooperation with Tilke GmbH, following consultation with F1, FIA, and drivers, for a smoother, safer, and more exciting race

Saudi Motorsport Company, the promoters of the Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabia Grand Prix 2023, have announced that ahead of the global motor sporting event returning to the city in March 2023, changes will be made to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit to deliver a ‘smoother, safer and more exciting race’.

It said that the changes have been made in cooperation with Tilke GmbH, following consultation with F1, the FIA, and the drivers. The changes will include improvement of driver sightlines in specific areas of the circuit and the refashioning kerbs in line with the new era of cars.

A statement highlighted that the most significant changes would be the addition of ‘Rumble Lines’ at turns 3, 14, 19, 20, and 21. A Rumble Line is defined as an adhesive on the ground similar to ones used on highways giving the driver notice that they are out of lane. In F1 terms this effectively ‘shakes’ the car which causes traction to be lost, subsequently slowing it down, the statement continued.

Bevelled kerbs have also been added in place of steel ones at Turns 4, 8, 10, 11, 17 and 23, it added, pointing out that the changes come in line with new recommendations brought in following the introduction of the new F1 cars at the beginning of the year.

CEO Martin Whitaker said: "The evolution of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit continues apace and we at SMC are excited to add these further tweaks to our magnificent track as a result of positive consultation with the FIA, F1 and the drivers."

"The previous two races here in Jeddah have already confirmed the JCC as the world’s fastest and most exciting street circuit and these new developments will only add to the spectacle that fans can expect to see next March when F1 returns to our city. 

"It is vital for any circuit to listen and learn from those racing on it and use their feedback to grow and improve at all times. We are confident these changes will lead to even faster, more exciting and - crucially - safe racing and we can’t wait to see the world’s greatest drivers battle it out here under the lights again in 2023.”

Track improvements

To further improve driver sightlines and visibility, turns 14 and 20 have shifted the fence wall on the right- and left-hand sides respectively by 7.5m (T14) and 5m (T20), with an additional Rumble Line implemented in the verge between the white line and fence wall of these widenings. 

Additionally, the fence wall has been adjusted at Turns 8 and 10 to give drivers more visibility of the turn ahead. Turns 22 and 23 - one of the main ‘action’ sequences on the circuit - have seen their ‘S’ shape squeezed via the adjustment of the fence at T23 and addition of a bevelled kerb with the aim of slowing down the drivers by approximately 50km/h.

In addition to the on-track changes, the wider JCC complex is also continuing to grow into a state-of-the- art home of sport, leisure, and entertainment, the statement concluded.

The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is home to the world’s fastest street circuit and is located on the city’s Red Sea coast. The global sporting event will return to Jeddah from March 17 – 20 for the third time.

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