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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Preview: All you need to know about the inaugural race at Jeddah Corniche

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Preview: The inaugural race in Saudi Arabia will be hosting the whole F1 contingent this weekend.

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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Preview: Formula 1 enters into the penultimate races of the season, with the next destination decided to be in Jeddah before the last race of the season happens in the UAE.

Currently, the competition between the two drivers is immensely tight. Max Verstappen leads that championship by only eight points. Meanwhile, the momentum is with Lewis Hamilton, who won two successive races in Brazil and Qatar.

The track characteristics are propelling Red Bull to claim that the track favours Mercedes. Moreover, the former’s flappy wings observed in Qatar is also a point of concern.

Adding further, Mercedes has vowed to bring in their spicy engine for Saudi Arabia, further boosting their winning chances. Now, it remains to be seen who will take the trophy on the podium.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Preview: All you need to know about the inaugural race at Jeddah Corniche

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Preview: Track characteristics

The Jeddah Corniche track is claimed to be the fastest street circuit track on the calendar. The circuit would be making its first appearance in Formula 1. It is claimed that it’s a mixture of circuits in Baku and Singapore

It has more corners than any other track in the calendar, standing on a staggering figure of 27. Therefore the tyres will be heavily challenged, so Pirelli has chosen the C2 as the P Zero White hard, C3 as the P Zero Yellow medium, and C4 as the P Zero Red soft. 

Though, they are the most commonly picked combination of the year. Turn 13 of the track is probably the most tricky corner of the track where the drivers have to pull a 12-degree steering turn manoeuvre.

Though there is an abundance of corners, they are quick. However, the corners may prove to be unforgiving, with narrow passages and walls close to the side of the corners. 

Controversies

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is not aloof of controversies. Many fans have objected to F1 dealing with an autocratic state like Saudi Arabia, which doesn’t stand on many ideas which F1 preaches.

Sebastian Vettel has openly criticized the inclusion of the track. Moreover, the dressing code controversy also gained criticism over the imposing nature of the middle-east state.

Apart from the ideological and political differences, there is a suspicion of safety too. For a long time, the Jeddah track has been claimed to be incomplete, and the arguments continue to this date.

The former F1 champion has also questioned the safety of drivers because of the proximity of barriers to the high-speed turns. In the larger discourse, the Jeddah circuit is claimed to be dangerous.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Preview: All you need to know about the inaugural race at Jeddah Corniche

Drivers to look after

Apart from the two title protagonists, some specific drivers can cause an uproar with their performances. Those could be:

Daniel Ricciardo: The 32-year-old race driver in the past has shown his skills on the street circuits. He has a knack for racking points at venues like these. Though Ricciardo has primarily been inconsistent in 2021, there have also been moments of brilliance.

Charles Leclerc: The Monegasque driver has been giving impressive performances in series. The upgraded Ferrari has boosted his confidence. Therefore, it’s a prediction that Saudi Arabia will be good for Leclerc.

Fernando Alonso: The podium in Qatar has instilled a new confidence in Fernando Alonso. And he doesn’t want to wait for another seven years. Though we aren’t predicting a podium for him in Saudi Arabia, only a decent points haul.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Preview: All you need to know about the inaugural race at Jeddah Corniche

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