In exactly two months the Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023 gets underway at the stunning, ultra-fast Jeddah Corniche Circuit. As the street track prepares to hold its third Formula 1 event, organisers have confirmed the Red Sea venue will continue to host an F1 race for at least the foreseeable future.
While initially built as a temporary facility, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit has undergone a number of permanent modifications in the past year to upgrade the venue to be the home of Formula 1 in Saudi Arabia for at least four more years. Saudi Motorsport Company Chief Executive Officer Martin Whitaker says that work has been done now to increase the longevity of the circuit, make the challenging circuit even more exciting and to ensure a greater spectacle for spectators and the global television audience.
Whitaker said: “It’s important that we future proof the Jeddah track and for this reason we have again been working with the FIA and Formula 1 to ensure that we have a circuit that will allow us to stage the sport in Jeddah while work begins on the track in Qiddiya.
“The Qiddiya automotive centre is being designed to lead the world in Formula 1 circuit design and entertainment. A unique and exciting project, Qiddiya will be a location that everyone will want to visit but right now and in the immediate future the focus and eyes of the world will be on Jeddah and the Red Sea coastline in the month of March.”
There has been recent speculation about the date of the 2024 race. Organisers have confirmed the date for the 2024 edition of the race will need to be moved in the schedule to avoid a clash with the holy month of Ramadan, which next year will take place between March 10 and April 9, 2024.
However, the exact timing of the race will be determined jointly by Formula 1 and the sport’s governing body, the FIA and will be announced later this year. As the world’s fastest street circuit gears up to host the Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023, Saudi Motorsport Company’s CEO Martin Whitaker talks about the increasing development of motorsport in the region and the interest from both a fan perspective and also the business community that will make the 2023 edition of the race another success.
“What’s crucial to me is there is a heightened awareness in all forms of motorsport. But particularly Formula 1,” says Whitaker. “The Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is the biggest sporting event in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — by a long way. The F1 race has been a catalyst that has led to a wider interest into the sport.
“We have more visitors to our karting tracks, more people interested in Formula E, Extreme E and Dakar and there is a growing interest from the business sector and automotive manufacturers to invest in Saudi Arabia and the new international and home-grown events that we are planning. Formula 1 is doing a tremendous job in increasing awareness and as a result we are seeing a really healthy response to both ticket sales and corporate hospitality sales.”