The 2022 F1 Saudi Arabian GP is the second race on the calendar for the ongoing season. The race weekend starts from Friday, March 25, when Free Practice (FP) 1 commences and will run through until Sunday, March 27, when the checkered flag falls.
It is a relatively new addition to the existing roster, having debuted after a mid-season inclusion in 2021. The inaugural Saudi Arabian GP was last season’s penultimate race and was laced with tension, action, and drama on and off the track.
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Type: Temporary Street Circuit
Circuit Length: 6.174 kilometers (3.836 miles)
First race held: 2021
The venue for the 2022 F1 Saudi Arabian GP is the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, a rapid temporary circuit that has a reputation for being fast and dangerous.
The track is located inside a 30km coastal resort area of the ancient Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. Despite being a temporary circuit, it does have certain permanent sections.
The track was created by the Tilke company, which worked in tandem with F1’s Motorsport team to set the groundwork and build the circuit in time for the 2021 edition. As is the tradition with all other races in the Middle East, this Grand Prix is held under floodlights, mainly due to the difference in temperature between night and day.
The track has 27 turns, three DRS detection zones, and has an average speed of close to 250 kmph (155 mph). It is faster than Silverstone and was only behind Monza in terms of speed in 2021. It would come as no surprise if the Jeddah Corniche Circuit once again sees blistering fast laps from the new generation of F1 cars.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton holds the lap record around the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, clocking in a 1:30.734 in 2021. The seven-time world champion is the only driver to win at the venue thus far.
The 2021 race weekend was marred by multiple crashes. In F2, there was a horrific crash between Theo Pourchaire and Enzo Fittipaldi. F1 saw multiple incidents in practice, qualifying as well as during the race.
The race was red-flagged twice early on and was also the scene for a desert duel between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
The two 2021 world championship protagonists tussled throughout the race before an alleged brake test by the Dutchman saw hell break loose in the Mercedes garage.
This time, the circumstances are much different on all fronts. From the second last race to the second. From a cloudy night in December to a sultry one in March. From old cars to new ones. All bets are off for the 2022 F1 Saudi Arabian GP.
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