mobile app bar

Big Promises Made as F1 Ventures Onto Half a Billion ‘Monopoly Board’ in Saudi Arabian Qiddiya Speed Park

Sabyasachi Biswas

Big Promises Made as F1 Ventures Onto Half a Billion ‘Monopoly Board’ in Saudi Arabian Qiddiya Speed Park

Just four years after the inauguration of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Saudi Arabia is on its way to developing yet another mega track, the Qiddiya Speed Park. The mentioned track will be a crown jewel of the upcoming high-tech city of Qiddiya in Saudi Arabia. The expected cost to build the track is reportedly around $500 million and has big promises around it.

Saudi Arabia wants Qiddiya to be the motorsports capital of the world. However, they would want to make sure that the track does not become forgotten and abandoned, something that F1 has already seen with the likes of the Buddh International Circuit in India, and the Korea International Circuit.

Martin Whitaker, CEO of Saudi Arabian Motorsport told Racingnews365, “The difference here is the commitment of the Saudis. Once they commit to doing something, that’s it. It’s happening. There’s no turning back. They’re going to achieve it.”

The Speed Park will be designed by Hermann Tilke, along with former F1 driver and two-time Le Mans winner Alex Wurz. It will see an elevation difference of 108 meters across 21 turns. Interestingly, it will also have an incline of 70 meters in the first corner known as ‘blade’, and consist of three DRS zones.

Moreover, the venue will not only be a racing track, but also have spaces for different sports like soccer and golf. Apart from this, the Speed Park will also have entertainment facilities such as hotels, malls and residential complexes.

The Qiddiya Speed Park is expected to take Jeddah Corniche Circuit’s place in the sport in the next decade. F1 extended their partnership with the Jeddah till 2030 recently. Therefore, shifting to Qiddiya only be possible after that. But is F1 planning to shift at all?

Implications about having multiple races in Saudi Arabia

There is a possibility that F1 agrees to hosting two races in Saudi Arabia from 2030 onwards. However, a lot of entities, including Lewis Hamilton, have called out the country for its human rights track record. How the public will react to having two races there is to be seen.

Meanwhile, Max Verstappen navigated through the sportswashing allegations against the country, unlike Hamilton. The Dutchman took a safer line while explaining how the Middle Eastern country is trying to improve its global image by hosting rampant sports events one after another.

The Red Bull driver said as per Racing News 365, “I do think that since we have been [in Saudi Arabia] already, there are some really nice, positive changes. And you have to respect that, sometimes it takes a bit longer in some countries.”

Verstappen refused to mix politics with F1. He is excited about the changes being made in the country, but at the same time, asks fans to respect the local culture, irrespective of where they go.

Post Edited By:Somin Bhattacharjee

About the author

Sabyasachi Biswas

Sabyasachi Biswas


Sabyasachi Biswas is an F1 journalist at The SportsRush. With over one and a half decades of love for the sport and five years of experience in the field, he dreams to be a regular at the paddock when the lights go out. A Red Bull fan and F1 fan in general over the years, he enjoyed watching Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel, and Max Verstappen dominate the track. Apart from F1, he's also a big-time Madridista and Federer fanatic. He was a sub-junior level footballer, won inter-district quizzes and debate competitions back in school. A travel freak throughout, he tries different cuisines and learns new cultures whenever he's away from the keyboard.

Read more from Sabyasachi Biswas

Share this article