Hermann Tilke, who has designed a number of Formula 1 race circuits around the world, is working with Saudi Arabia ahead of the Gulf kingdom’s F1 debut next year.
According to industry website RaceFans, which quoted Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal Al Saud, the president Saudi Arabia’s motorsport federation, Tilke will design the street circuit in Jeddah which will hold a night race as the penultimate round on the F1 calendar next November.
Prince Khalid was quoted as saying the federation had chosen Tilke because of the limited time available to complete the circuit.
Tilke (pictured below) has designed the likes of Sepang International Circuit, Bahrain International Circuit and Shanghai International Circuit, Istanbul Park Racing Circuit, Valencia Street Circuit, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Yas Marina Circuit, Korea International Circuit and the Buddh International Circuit.
“Given the time that we have, we found out that the best option for us is to go directly with Tilke,” Prince Khalid said. “We need to work very fast and it’s something a street circuit, it’s not like a new project starting from scratch so we wanted to bring someone that has experience both in the street circuit races.”
He was quoted as saying the track layout is “80 percent set”, adding: “We don’t want it to be just another race. We wanted to do something special, we want it to be a different race, we want it to be the best race. So working closely with Formula 1 and Tilke and having our beautiful corniche in Jeddah I can promise you it’s going to stand out.”
The circuit will be based around the corniche on the seafront of Saudi Arabia’s second-biggest city.
“I can tell you it’s not going to be a slow race. Our goal is to make it exciting, thrilling with a lot of overtaking. We like seeing the event in Monaco, it’s a lovely event, but in terms of racing, there’s no overtaking, it’s not that exciting.”
He added that Saudi Arabi is keen to be one of eight races in 2021 to host the all-women’s championship W Series. “I would love to see a race or host them in Saudi Arabia. I know there are eight rounds and hopefully we’ll be one of the lucky countries to host them in Saudi Arabia,” he told RaceFans.