Qiddiya City F1 circuit
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The Qiddiya City F1 Circuit to be the longest and fastest in the world

Saudi Arabia unveils the plans for the futuristic racing circuit, which will open for the 2028 World Championship

Tilke Enginers & Architects

Qiddiya City F1 circuit
By Eugenio Petrillo -

The longest and fastest Formula One circuit in the world is to be built in Qiddiya City, 30 miles from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Only just made public, the project is the work of Tilke Engineers & Architects, who collaborated with former driver Alex Wurz. The inauguration of the Qiddiya Speed Park Track will take place for the 2028 World Championship.

Speed Park Track in Qiddiya City - Tilke Enginers & Architects Copyright and courtesy Qiddiya Media

 

F1 and Saudi Arabia: a partnership set to last

There’s an increasingly big overlap between sports and entertainment, with both evolving to attract new audiences.

In part driven by its enormous availability of capital, the Arab world has picked up on this new trend and is now trying to embrace the major sporting events. We saw it with the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022, and, in 2026, we’ll see it again in the same country with the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Likewise, Saudi Arabia has become a paradise for elite soccer players from around the world, with many of the big names from Europe recently relocating to the Middle East. So, a lot’s going on, and there’s the capital needed to do it.

The Arab countriesSaudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates in particular – have been investing in motorsport for some time. The lion’s share of these investments is going into Formula 1 and MotoGP, as the two championships that attract the most interest, biggest audiences, and, in particular, the most money. Every year, F1 is becoming more elitist. As a product that’s already out of reach for many, it’s being tailored towards people with a certain economic status.

Speed Park Track in Qiddiya City - Tilke Enginers & Architects Copyright and courtesy Qiddiya Media

 

The project for the Qiddiya City circuit

One of the most eagerly awaited events on the Formula 1 calendar, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix has been held in Jeddah since 2021. It takes place on a street circuit that’s full of hazards and where the single-seaters brush up against the barriers at almost every turn. It’s a very fast, very technical circuit, with a margin of error that’s close to zero. To win in Jeddah, drivers need to find the best combination of speed and skill.

Before the last Saudi Arabian GP, held March 7–9, 2024, the project for the track to debut at the 2028 World Championship was officially released. Moving from Jeddah to Riyadh, the event will now take place on a circuit that will be both the longest and fastest in the world. Construction has already begun, with the new track, for both F1 and MotoGP, to be part of Qiddiya City – a city-within-the-city megaproject that’s aimed at attracting more tourists and improving the city’s range of entertainment offerings.

Experts have already labeled the Qiddiya Speed Park Track as “science fiction,” a place where even the impossible will happen. Adding to the spectacle of the place, for example, the stands and observation terraces will intertwine with a rollercoaster around the edge of the track. The project was the work of Tilke Engineers & Architects, who designed almost all of the new-generation track. The studio, founded in Aachen in 1984 by German engineer and former driver Hermann Tilke, brought former Austrian F1 driver Alex Wurz onboard for the project. The track already has FIA certification.

Speed Park Track in Qiddiya City - Tilke Enginers & Architects Copyright and courtesy Qiddiya Media

 

The Blade, observation terraces, and more

The track will run counterclockwise and feature over 350 feet (108 m) of elevation change and 21 corners. Cars will be able to reach speeds of up to 200 mph (320 km/h). But the jewel of the circuit’s crown will be what is destined to become one of the most iconic braking sections on the F1 calendar: The Blade. Marked by LED lighting, this corner will rise 230 feet (70 m), roughly equal to the height of a twenty-story building, like something out of a spokon – the sports-themed manga comics.

The track will also have the biggest grandstand in the world, a paddock with 80 garages (a record for F1), and observation terraces with breathtaking views of the track. It goes without saying that there will be no shortage of areas dedicated to leisure, shopping, concerts, and entertainment, including the rollercoaster. The circuit will offer an unmissable spectacle.

 

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