Jeddah is set to remain as the host venue of Formula 1’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix through at least 2027, event organisers have said.
Saudi Arabia joined Formula 1’s calendar in 2021 on 10-year deal with a street circuit designed around the corniche of second city Jeddah.
It was expected that the event would move from Jeddah after a few years to a facility under construction in Qiddiya.
However that has now been pushed back and Qiddiya is unlikely to be ready until 2028 at the earliest.
“It’s important that we future proof the Jeddah track,” said Saudi Motorsport Company CEO Martin Whitaker.
“For this reason we have again been working with the FIA and Formula 1 to ensure that we have a circuit that will allow us to stage the sport in Jeddah while work begins on the track in Qiddiya.
“The Qiddiya automotive centre is being designed to lead the world in Formula 1 circuit design and entertainment. A unique and exciting project, Qiddiya will be a location that everyone will want to visit but right now and in the immediate future the focus and eyes of the world will be on Jeddah.”
Minor revisions have been made to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, most notably a tightening of Turns 21 through 23 that will slow the entry speed by an estimated 30-50km/h, while sight lines and kerbs have been tweaked for safety purposes.
This year’s event, as per 2022, will be the second round of the season but it is expected that the 2024 Saudi race will open the championship.
“This year Ramadan starts three days after our race but next year it moves to the earlier dates of March 10 to April 9, 2024,” said Whitaker.
“Obviously, because of the sanctity of Ramadan it would be impossible to host a Grand Prix during that time, but ultimately any decision on the timings of the race next year is in the hands of Formula 1 and the FIA.
“We are waiting for clarification from the promoter and governing body with regards to our 2024 date. As usual this will not be announced until much later in the year.”