Cover Image for “Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be going ahead as planned”: Jeddah making extraordinary progress with the construction of its circuit

“Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be going ahead as planned”: Jeddah making extraordinary progress with the construction of its circuit

Somin Bhattacharjee
|Fri Oct 29 2021

The construction of the Jeddah Street Circuit has made tremendous progress over the last few weeks as race day in Saudi Arabia comes closer.

Saudi Arabia will host its first-ever F1 Grand Prix from 3rd to 5th December this year. The circuit is being constructed in Jeddah on the banks of the Red Sea and is being labelled as the fastest street circuit on the calendar.

Tilke engineering has been overseeing the construction of this project along with Bahrain based company MRK 1. The former is known for delivering big and complicated construction projects in minimal time.

Pictures shared on the internet earlier this week show us that there is still lots of work left to do before FP1 in Jeddah. That has led to lots of fans speculating whether the race would even take place or not. However, the managing director of MRK 1, Mark Hughes, has assured everyone that things are going ahead as planned.

“From my experience and from having worked on projects, Bahrain was built in 16 months. Abu Dhabi was built in 18 months.” said Hughes. “We built the track in Thailand. From ground-breaking to our first event was 12 months at Buriram and that was another Tilke project. Tilke’s experience of fast track projects is quite exceptional.”

FIA Race Director Michael Masi will be in Jeddah this week to check the progress

Michael Masi will be taking time out to visit the site and check on the work being done. With just 35 days left until FP1, it’s vital that things go smoothly and as predicted.

“We also have regular visits from Formula 1 themselves. A number of Ross’ team have been there over the past couple of months. The plan is the race will happen on the fifth of December. That will go ahead and I believe it will. From the progress I’ve seen, I’ve got no reason to doubt it.”

Hughes also said that constructing this circuit was tremendously challenging for all parties involved. He said it was a “big ask” to complete a circuit like this in just eight months.

“With the amount of time it took to build Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Buriram. I think construction started on the 1st of April in Jeddah and the race is in December. That’s a significantly condensed timeframe.”, he said.

The construction of the Jeddah Street Circuit started in April 2021, and the officials and construction workers are in a race against time to make sure that it is ready ahead of time.

Also read: “Arms and legs must be covered at all times”: Teams will have to follow a dress code to maintain ‘decency’ during Saudi Arabian GP

About the author