Your A-Z Guide to the 2022 Saudi Arabian GP
The Jeddah Corniche Circuit's debut in 2021 was absolute chaos and we should expect more of the same in 2022...
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - Welcome to your A-Z Guide to the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix! F1's first double header of this season concludes at the high-speed and narrow Jeddah Corniche Circuit. Only a few short months removed from the F1 debut of Jeddah, we're here to give you a quick preview of this weekend's race and all the important info you need to know about the weekend. If you're looking to watch qualifying this weekend, join the BackMarkers F1 Show this Saturday at 12:30PM Eastern time as we'll be going live for a qualifying watch along livestream. on our YouTube channel!
The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is one of the longest on the calendar and it can only be described as a fast and flowing roller coaster ride. It has the most corners of any track this season with 27, 16 to the left and 11 to the right. The track surface offers a medium level of grip but is not too harsh on the tyres despite the high speeds. Due to the rapidly flowing layout, the track is not particularly demanding in terms of traction and braking. Overtaking at Jeddah is quite the challenge in and of itself but the 2021 race showed us that it is possible. The main areas for overtaking are into Turn 1 which is one of the only few slow speed corners on this circuit. And the next one would be the final corner at Turn 27 which allows for overtaking and also a chance for drivers to get good traction and setup a move into Turn 1. Stay tuned to the weekend notes as the Jeddah Circuit has undergone a few changes from last year. And finally, to get an idea of the speeds in Saudi Arabia, Lewis Hamilton's average speed during his pole lap was 254 kilometers per hour. It makes Jeddah the second fastest track on the calendar next to Monza.
Grand Prix History
Since this is only the second Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in its history, their isn't much history to go through but we will give you the quick rundown. Another Tilke designed circuit made its F1 debut in 2021 and has received mixed reviews from F1 fans. Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are the only team and constructor to have won in Saudi Arabia after taking a dramatic victory here just a few months ago. Pole position was the successful starting grid position in last year's race so the battle for pole this Saturday will be important. And finally, as with many street circuits but especially this high speed one, there is a very high probability of seeing the safety car at least once this Sunday as the 2021 Saudi Arabian GP also saw two red flags in the 50 lap race.
Grand Prix Schedule
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be the second night race in a row so take note of the start times for Free Practice and the rest of the sessions.
Let's start by looking at the weather forecast for Jeddah and the tyres that will be used for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Weather - Racing in the middle east ensures drivers of dry racing conditions and warm temperatures. Ambient and track temperatures will drop during FP2, qualifying, and the race but the bigger issue will be changing wind directions as the circuit is right next to the Red Sea. Let's move onto tyres.
Tyres - Pirelli bring the middle range of compounds with the C2, C3, and C4 tyres like they did in 2021. Pirelli expect moderate wear and degradation but it is still a question mark due to the new 18 inch tyres. Track evolution will be high this weekend thanks to the support races like Formula 2. Let's now look at the rest of your weekend notes for the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Jeddah Circuit Changes - The Jeddah Corniche Circuit has undergone some changes after its 2021 debut. The barriers have been moved back to open up sight lines for the drivers. The final corner (turn 27) will be wider this year thanks to the removal of a grandstand.
Hulkenberg On Standby - Nico Hulkenberg is in Saudi Arabia and ready to drive for the second week in a row if Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel is still not fit enough to make his season debut.
DRS Zones Unchanged - Despite the new 2022 cars, the FIA has not changed the three DRS zones that are being used around the Jeddah Circuit.