Preview of the 2023 Saudi Arabian F1 Grand Prix

Preview of the 2023 Saudi Arabian F1 Grand Prix

The second round of the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship takes us to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on the Red Sea coast this weekend.

The track, which is considered the fastest urban track in the world, is the venue for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. This year marks the third year the race has been on the calendar.

The circuit’s track layout was designed by renowned circuit architect Hermann Tilke, and its 3.83-mile length is the second longest after the 4.35-mile Spa-Francorchamps circuit. It has 27 corners, the most of any circuit on the calendar, and its average speed over the last two races has been over 150 mph.

The track surface offers a medium level of grip, but the sand blown in from the nearby desert can affect things, as can dramatic changes in wind direction. Pirelli has nominated its medium compounds for the race: C2 is the white hard, C3 is the yellow medium and C4 is the red soft.

Jeddah Corniche Circuit, venue of the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Teams will also have to deal with rapid temperature changes over the course of the race as the race in Saudi Arabia starts at dusk and lasts into the night. The current weather forecast calls for good conditions throughout the weekend with peak temperatures around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Changes made to the track this year include some new rumble strips on the escape routes and some smoother curbs. Some walls have also been repositioned to improve visibility in some areas and make cornering slower in other places.

After some practice on Friday, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen was fastest, closely followed by teammate Sergio Perez and then the Aston Martins of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll. It has also been confirmed that Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has been penalized by 10 places on the grid for exceeding his drive unit control electronics allocation.

Before qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday, Verstappen leads the 2023 driver standings with 25 points. Perez is second with 18 points and Alonso is third with 15 points. In the constructors’ championship, Red Bull leads with 43 points ahead of Aston Martin with 23 and Mercedes-Benz AMG with 16 points. Last year’s winner in Saudi Arabia was Verstappen, who drove for Red Bull.

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