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The new Qiddiya F1 track in Saudi Arabia looks positively crazy

It looks like something straight out of ‘Mario Kart’

Come 2027, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be held at the Qiddiya Speed Park. IMAGE FROM QIDDIYA INVESTMENT COMPANY

Saudi Arabia might be about to take Formula 1 to a whole new level—literally. The Qiddiya Investment Company, the firm behind the upcoming track and the whole city where it will be based, has revealed more details about the venue, and the place promises to be like no circuit anyone has ever seen before.

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix currently takes place at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit and is expected to do so until 2027. Then the F1 circus will move to the new Speed Park in Qiddiya, a purpose-built venue that forms part of the “Saudi Vision 2030” initiative.

Newly released details now give us a better idea of what to expect from this futuristic track, the highlight of which is no doubt a section called The Blade.

The track's crazy features make it look like something designed for a video game rather than the real world. IMAGES FROM QIDDIYA INVESTMENT COMPANY

The name refers to what the people behind the project claim is the world’s first elevated section of a racetrack. Drivers will race up a 70m incline on the way to the first corner. In total, cars will have to deal with 108m of elevation gain per lap.

The computer-generated images released together with this latest update give only a rough idea of what this feature will look like, and there are of course a few obvious questions that come to mind when looking at them.

The biggest one is this: What happens when a car leaves the track and comes flying down what is the height equivalent of a 20-story building?

Are you for racetracks becoming amusement parks? IMAGE FROM QIDDIYA INVESTMENT COMPANY

No doubt the people behind the design—famous track designer Hermann Tilke and Austrian former Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz—have thought of that and built in adequate safety features (or at least we hope so).

The track will feature 21 corners in total, and leads through the heart of Qiddiya City. Instead of traditional grandstands, fans will be able to watch from viewing terraces as cars reach speeds of up to 325km/h and make use of no fewer than three DRS zones.

There’s even a music venue below the elevated track section and a roller coaster running alongside it. If everything turns out the way QIC is promising it, then this could be one heck of a venue for drivers and spectators alike.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.