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Jeddah and FIA circuit homologation


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#1 scheivlak

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 22:51

I think we may conclude that the Jeddah track - in spite of all the money and effort - simply lacked the requirements hosting a safe and smooth F1 Grand Prix as a result of a few rather basic design errors.

 

How can we prevent a farce like this? 

 

1) Guidelines for homologations of tracks are formulated like this:  https://www.fia.com/circuit-safety. Regarding safety these are nicely formulated from narrowly technical point of view, but they don't make much sense from a viewpoint of  allowing a safe and fair race.

 

2) I Remember the times that before you could host a Grand Prix at a certain track you had to organise a tryout event, preferably F1. E.g. Jarama 1967 and the Argentinian and Brazilian GPs in the early 70s.

 

Since of course the Concorde Agreement you can't organise non-championship GPs anymore these days. But I guess a tryout event (or even the "threat" of a tryout event) in a decently competitive class or formula could have helped to iron out the most blatant design errors of this track.

 

 

How did we get into this mess?

 

The main reason is of course: greed. In a way an inevitable thing when it comes to a sport with almost stratospheric amounts of costs and as a result almost stratospheric needs of revenue. Still there should should have been a limiting power to this. It's the Commercial Rights Holder (Liberty) that makes the deals but FIA should have its say and use its power in regards to safety - in a way that precludes organise an F1 GP on a circuit that has not proven to have met a required level of safety. And a more strategically operating Drivers Association might help as well.



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#2 Spillage

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 22:55

The circuit was stupidly dangerous. Monza-style speeds with no runoff at all. it was dreadful. 



#3 Myrvold

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 23:14

The circuit was stupidly dangerous. Monza-style speeds with no runoff at all. it was dreadful. 

 

That in itself isn't insanely dangerous, the walls close to the track in many of the fast corners would work like ovals in IndyCar, but with lower speeds than e.g Indianapolis. That in itself isn't bad.

The issue comes when you got left-right corners, blind corners etc. being this way. Vietnam had the last sector like this as well.



#4 Rodaknee

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 23:39

Didn't you spot the paper money padding at the danger points? 



#5 ANF

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 00:16

The long, sweeping T21, T25 and T26 are just crazy. Some F2 cars were going side by side through them. If two cars touch and the nose of one car is lifted above the concrete barrier, it's going to end up like Dario Franchitti in Houston. That won't happen if there is a proper run-off area outside the corner.

Close walls with no run-off also means a spun car has nowhere to go. Pérez was lucky not to be T-boned at T3 today. So was Alonso, who spun at T9 and came to a halt sideways on the track at T10 (but I think he actually spun across a run-off area).

I'm not saying street circuits shouldn't be allowed, but I think having 290 km/h bends with DRS and no run-off is an unnecessary risk.



#6 ANF

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 00:25

George Russell believes some parts of the track should be straightened because "there are unnecessary incidents waiting to happen in all of these small kinks that are blind, which are not even corners in an F1 car, but they just offer unnecessary danger". https://www.motorspo...danger/6854385/



#7 GTR

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 01:50

The OP has put what I was thinking in a more literate way that I can ever put it. Yes the track itself is a failure. It generates too many incidents & accidents. Watching the race was a pain in the backside: whenever you wait for any progress to occur, you get a stupid VSC, SC or Red Flag

#8 sabjit

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 02:02

This race was horrible. Never should come here again.

 

And thats without discussing Saudi's atrocious Human Rights record.



#9 aray

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 03:40

This track just needs to be bit 'slowed' down.This race was as much of drivers' failure as the track.



#10 Baddoer

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 05:36

An abomination.



#11 Pimpwerx

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 05:44

Honestly, I think it's a great circuit. Fast and demanding. However, too many blind, high-speed corners. If they'd made this a road course, instead of a street course, and kept the same layout, it might be an instant-classic. I really liked seeing the guys work around here, and I think it should qualify as a driver's circuit. However, I'm all about safety these days, and this circuit just ain't safe enough right now. Not sure how you easily amend a street course, but the Saudis have enough money to work all of that out.



#12 William Hunt

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 05:49

Jeddah is a very exciting track to drive an F1 car on... on your own. But in a field packed up those blind kinks are what make it extremely dangerous imho. So I think it's a very challenging and exciting, spectacular race track but with a certain danger element in it that can't be denied and it in particular is cause by those extremely quick blind corners.

 

But well... this circuit is only suppose to serve for two grand prix so if we can survive the next race in '22 (early '22 I believe) without injured drivers, then it will be out of F1 and will be replaced by a brand new permanent track in Saoudi Arabia in '23.


Edited by William Hunt, 06 December 2021 - 05:51.


#13 TennisUK

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 05:55

Terrible track for all the reasons outlined by OP.

#14 taz

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 06:49

And we're going back here within 4 months. It's the second GP of 2022.

They're building/going to build a new track in Riyadh(?)



#15 Stephane

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 06:56

Jeddah is a very exciting track to drive an F1 car on... on your own. But in a field packed up those blind kinks are what make it extremely dangerous imho. So I think it's a very challenging and exciting, spectacular race track but with a certain danger element in it that can't be denied and it in particular is cause by those extremely quick blind corners.

 

But well... this circuit is only suppose to serve for two grand prix so if we can survive the next race in '22 (early '22 I believe) without injured drivers, then it will be out of F1 and will be replaced by a brand new permanent track in Saoudi Arabia in '23.

 

I don't know yet, but we may have injuries in F2 already
 



#16 Dolph

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 07:03

Stalling a car on the startline is hardly the fault of track design. I suppose if someone tripped and fell in the pitlane you'd point that out as proof of how dangerous the track is.

#17 barrykm

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 07:06

The layout of turns 1 & 2 just invites video game driving, to put it politely. 

 

IMHO the overall track design, whilst very quick, is just not suitable for modern-day racing. Fast and flowing is great, but the surrounding areas must allow for more runoff, visibility, and easier service vehicle access. 

 

The track appears to be a compromise forced by the shape and amount of available land area? But unlimited by funding?



#18 SenorSjon

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 07:57

This track was designed for sim racing, not real racing.



#19 Jon83

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 09:52

Firmly of the mind that if they go back here with that layout, there will be a serious accident.



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#20 smitten

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 10:03

Firmly of the mind that if they go back here with that layout, there will be a serious accident.

It did seem crazy unsighted through sooo many corners.



#21 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 10:05

Poor track served us a travesty of a race.



#22 Burai

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 10:08

This track was designed for sim racing, not real racing.

 

It's not very popular with that crowd either:

 



#23 noikeee

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 10:19

I'm torn here because I thought the circuit was great, but I agree it's not very safe.

#24 thegamer23

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 10:34

Premise: this race shouldn't have even happened beacause of Saudi's human rights record.
BUT

 

I think it was one of the few driver's circuit.

We've seen a lot of driving mistakes during the weekend, something we're not used to anymore these days.

We've seen Verstappen making a difference in his quali lap, really attacking every corner.
That was stuff we're not used seeing, and was amazing to watch.

 

 

More than the circuit, i found the driving standards a bit sub-par yesterday.

With brain-dead moves by Raikkonen, Tsunoda, Perez, and all the over the top stuff between Verstappen & Hamilton.

 

That was not circuit related to be honest, same for the race direction, wich was laughable.

 

For sure it's a track that's more dangerous than the average F1 track, and requires a more intelligent approach by the drivers, but i don't see it as much more dangerous than Baku tbh.

Even the current configuration of Radillion bring much more danger, and we've seen casualties & monumental crashes there for decades. 
Yet, most of the people don't want it to be changed..

 

The high kerbs in the first, curvy first sector prevents the car from really going flatout in that sequence, so the speeds remains contained expecially in race trim.

The second sector is fast, with some blind spots, but again, in the most dangerous point (where Leclerc & Schumacher crashed) there's quite a bit of runoff, and there are multiple rows of Tec Pro, so it's unlikely to have someone getting hurt there.

Fittipaldi crash was not track related.

 

If they manage to widen up a little bit some of the blind spots in Sector 2 & bring proper marshalls (Monaco marshalls?) to the scene, i think it's a pretty spectacular, super challenging circuit overall.
Ah, and a proper race direction.


Edited by thegamer23, 06 December 2021 - 10:43.


#25 BRG

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 10:36

Stalling a car on the startline is hardly the fault of track design. I suppose if someone tripped and fell in the pitlane you'd point that out as proof of how dangerous the track is.

It is ironic that the injury that did happen, could have happened anywhere.  Which does not let off the FIA for allowing a stupidly dangerous race track.

 

Poor track served us a travesty of a race.

Indeed.  No-one came out of yesterday's race with any credit.  FIA, FOM, teams, drivers, marshals, Saudi Arabia.....no-one.



#26 cpbell

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 12:22

George Russell believes some parts of the track should be straightened because "there are unnecessary incidents waiting to happen in all of these small kinks that are blind, which are not even corners in an F1 car, but they just offer unnecessary danger". https://www.motorspo...danger/6854385/

Good to hear an actual F1 driver supporting my view.  What's the point in all those swerves when they don't actually act as a corner for F1?  I'm not saying they shouldn't have a couple of high-speed curves, but that many is pointlessly dangerous.



#27 absinthedude

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 13:08

Good to hear an actual F1 driver supporting my view.  What's the point in all those swerves when they don't actually act as a corner for F1?  I'm not saying they shouldn't have a couple of high-speed curves, but that many is pointlessly dangerous.

 

 

Obviously I didn't watch the race but I've seen video of the circuit and I think that's the biggest safety issue....those sweepers/kinks. They seem unnecessarily, dangerous. They're fast, blind and lined with wall. Either open/straighten them up or move the walls to permit more space. If cars touched wheels there and one took off....it's going to be an aircraft accident. And it's wholly avoidable. It's unforgivable with a brand new circuit.

 

It's also avoidable by not racing in Saudi Arabia. But clearly that horse has now bolted. 



#28 cpbell

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 13:11

Obviously I didn't watch the race but I've seen video of the circuit and I think that's the biggest safety issue....those sweepers/kinks. They seem unnecessarily, dangerous. They're fast, blind and lined with wall. Either open/straighten them up or move the walls to permit more space. If cars touched wheels there and one took off....it's going to be an aircraft accident. And it's wholly avoidable. It's unforgivable with a brand new circuit.

 

It's also avoidable by not racing in Saudi Arabia. But clearly that horse has now bolted. 

I wish I'd had the balls to do what you did. :blush:



#29 absinthedude

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 15:08

I wish I'd had the balls to do what you did. :blush:

 

I ended up going to a 5 hour jazz jam rather than the activity I had previously intended. 



#30 cpbell

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 16:01

I ended up going to a 5 hour jazz jam rather than the activity I had previously intended. 

DifferentTenseHoopoe-max-1mb.gif



#31 tifosiMac

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 16:06

I think not only is the circuit soulless and lacking in any kind of character, its also extremely dangerous. It feels a bit like a mix of Valencia, and Singapore but with much faster sectors with minmal run-off areas.

 

I hope this race is permanently dropped to be honest. I also don't think the sport should be promoting itself in a country like Saudi Arabia and is only doing so for oil money and pressure from brands who have large Middle Eastern markets.



#32 pdac

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 16:32

Part of the safety issues with track lay with the poor driving standards and the fact that the FIA do nothing to improve those driving standards (and that's being kind to the FIA who, perhaps, may actually be contributing through their inability to hold offenders to account).



#33 DeKnyff

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 16:57

As I posted on another thread and against the mainstream opinion of this forum, IMO the circuit was fantastic: ultra fast and unforgiving, in the best tradition of what "the pinnacle of motor sports" should be. Also, overtaking was less difficult than in other so-called classic tracks.

 

Only negative thing was that marshals weren't trained for quick removal of damaged cars and debris, other than that an awesome and intimidating track for true drivers. Many times better than sanitized neo-Silverstone, Barcelona or Paul Ricard.



#34 eibyyz

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 17:22

Someone brought up Houston, I have to agree.  Jeddah has hints of Macau in it, too.



#35 PayasYouRace

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 17:35

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the long flat out stretched were straightened for next year. But it is ironic that the worst incidents of the weekend happened on the grid (could happen anywhere), or out of the slow first chicane which could have happened at any other street circuit.



#36 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 17:47

The track is showcasing a lot of what is wrong with F1.



#37 PayasYouRace

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 17:49

The track is showcasing a lot of what is wrong with F1.

That’s a bit vague. What wrongs does it showcase?



#38 Anja

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 17:58

I think not only is the circuit soulless and lacking in any kind of character, its also extremely dangerous. It feels a bit like a mix of Valencia, and Singapore but with much faster sectors with minmal run-off areas.

 

I hope this race is permanently dropped to be honest. I also don't think the sport should be promoting itself in a country like Saudi Arabia and is only doing so for oil money and pressure from brands who have large Middle Eastern markets.

 

That's my main problem with it - if it has to be dangerous, it should at least offer something special and spectacular in return. But a whole lot of same-ish bland bends surrounded by barrier tunnels just isn't very interesting to look at and the racing wasn't all that great either.


Edited by Anja, 06 December 2021 - 18:14.


#39 pdac

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 18:51

That’s a bit vague. What wrongs does it showcase?

 

The lack of driver etiquette. The ineptitude of the FIA officials. The disturbing amount of power that the teams wield over those officials.



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#40 ANF

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 18:52

It's not very popular with that crowd either:
 

I like this T24 demonstration:



#41 flatoutflatbroke

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 19:27

From the day FOM cashed the cheque, the race WAS happening, for heavens sake the paint was probably still wet as the teams arrived....



#42 Alfisti

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 20:00

 

I think it was one of the few driver's circuit.

We've seen a lot of driving mistakes during the weekend, something we're not used to anymore these days.

We've seen Verstappen making a difference in his quali lap, really attacking every corner.
That was stuff we're not used seeing, and was amazing to watch.

 

More than the circuit, i found the driving standards a bit sub-par yesterday.

With brain-dead moves by Raikkonen, Tsunoda, Perez, and all the over the top stuff between Verstappen & Hamilton.

 

That was not circuit related to be honest, same for the race direction, wich was laughable.

 

 

 

This. Some of the moves were absolutely bone headed stuff. 



#43 Atreiu

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 23:57

It's fast and has a character of its own. More importantly it's an actual ambitious circuit layout that breaks tradition of new circuits having half a dozen or more hairpins, elbows and 90 degrees corners. Yes, some kinks are unecessary and it sure is dangerous, but it's a much better circuit than Bahrain, China or Abu Dhabi have ever been.

I'd rather this be a new standard than Mexico City or Qatar.



#44 jonpollak

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 04:24

Just saw the race here in Tuscon Arizona.
I enjoyed the hell out of it.
Jp

#45 BRG

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 11:57

The worst thing about this is track is that the FIA have sold their soul and principles for 30 pieces of silver.  IT is claimed to be a 'street' circuit, but it was built from scratch on empty land and uses NO pre-existing roads at all.  It is a PURPOSE BUILT RACE TRACK yet the FIA have allowed them to completely ignore all the safety requirements for a purpose built race track.  That is the real scandal here.



#46 OO7

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 12:02

The worst thing about this is track is that the FIA have sold their soul and principles for 30 pieces of silver.  IT is claimed to be a 'street' circuit, but it was built from scratch on empty land and uses NO pre-existing roads at all.  It is a PURPOSE BUILT RACE TRACK yet the FIA have allowed them to completely ignore all the safety requirements for a purpose built race track.  That is the real scandal here.

This :up:



#47 pdac

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 12:40

The worst thing about this is track is that the FIA have sold their soul and principles for 30 pieces of silver.  IT is claimed to be a 'street' circuit, but it was built from scratch on empty land and uses NO pre-existing roads at all.  It is a PURPOSE BUILT RACE TRACK yet the FIA have allowed them to completely ignore all the safety requirements for a purpose built race track.  That is the real scandal here.

 

I agree with your description of the track. However, I would suggest that the FIA sold their sole for 30 pieces of silver a long time ago.



#48 OO7

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 13:44

Good to hear an actual F1 driver supporting my view.  What's the point in all those swerves when they don't actually act as a corner for F1?  I'm not saying they shouldn't have a couple of high-speed curves, but that many is pointlessly dangerous.

I agree.  I don't know the lay of the land, but considering it's not a street circuit, but rather purpose built, a more suitable design would have had the barriers much further away from the track and perhaps the circuit having a slightly different profile.  This would prevent the fast bends from being unsighted.


Edited by OO7, 07 December 2021 - 14:50.


#49 OO7

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 16:34

The Jeddah layout is also strange considering the lengths Spa is taking to improve safety.



#50 cpbell

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 16:37

The Jeddah layout is also strange considering the lengths Spa is taking to improve safety.

I want the old curves after the hairpin in Montreal to be reinstated - they were no worse than half of the curves here.