The Kingdom has been able to attract football legends such as Ronaldo, Messi, and Neymar and international singing stars such as Andrea Bocelli.
The country has invested millions towards hosting a number of prestigious sports events, including golf, horse racing, motorcycle racing, snooker, and chess tournaments, according to Grant Liberty’s 2021 report.
Following in the footsteps of Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, the country will stage the 2021 Saudi Grand Prix at the Red Sea port city of Jeddah between December 3rd and 5th, following practice and time trials.
“We managed to design a street circuit which is fast and challenging,” Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Faisal, president of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF), told CNN Sport‘s Amanda Davies.
“Formula One (F1) has a very big fan base in Saudi Arabia,” Prince Khalid added.
Saudi F1 event details
Saudi’s F1 track is a 27-turn circuit currently under construction. It is expected to be the fastest in the history of F1 with an average lap time of 252km/h predicted.
“Typically, modern cities are made up of blocks, which when used for a circuit leads to many 90-degree corners one after another, which isn’t particularly exciting for the driver or spectator,” said Carsten Tilke, Managing Director of design organization Tilke GmbH.
“We don’t have that restriction here (the corniche area north of Jeddah). It means we could create a number of designs in collaboration with F1.”
Carsten added: “For me, this is why the Jeddah Street Circuit works so well. It’s close to the city, it will draw in the spectators and have the atmosphere of an urban venue, but it has the space so we can increase the speed of the corners which is something you can normally only do at a permanent facility. All of these elements will make this one of the best circuits in the world.”
Tilke was speaking to mark 100 days to go until the inaugural race and asserted that everything will be completed in time, despite the brief window to construct the venue.
The event economy
The ambition of Saudi Arabia in the events realm is vast. With every successful event that achieves its promotional and commercial goals, the appetite is opened to achieve a more important, larger, and more influential goal.
The right to host Formula 1 world championship made Saudi the 33rd country to have the opportunity to hold such a prestigious event.
1978 witnessed the start of the first relationship between Saudi and the F1 race when the country inked a major sponsorship contract by Saudi Arabian Airlines for the renowned British Williams team which managed to win its first world championship in 1980.
A Guinness record Saudi Lego F1
To celebrate F1 coming to Jeddah, the Saudi Automobile & Motorcycle Federation (SAMF), promoter of the 2021 F1 Saudi, announced its plan to assemble the world’s largest LEGO brick build of an F1 car in aid of Ehsan, Saudi Arabia’s focal national charity.
Upon successful completion, the official attempt will see Guinness World Records certify the SAMF as an official record holder.
The assembly process for the LEGO brick build of the F1 car will take place at the Red Sea Mall in Jeddah and will take approximately one week to construct, starting Sept. 15.
The last brick will be placed on Sept. 23, Saudi Arabia’s National Day, when Guinness World Records Representatives will be on hand via live stream to record and certify the LEGO brick build of the Formula 1 car as the world’s largest.