Codemasters has released a long-awaited update to its Formula 1 game F1 2021, which allows players to tackle Jeddah’s street track ahead of the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
From 3-5 December F1 will head to the coastal city of Jeddah for its first venture around the city’s streets, on an anticlockwise layout that is set to be the championship’s fastest street circuit on the calendar with average speeds of up to 250 km/h.
The 6.174km course, which passes through Jeddah’s seafront Corniche, will make it the second longest circuit on the F1 calendar after Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
While the sprawling layout looked fast on paper despite its 27 corners, Codemasters’ latest update to F1 2021 has now given fans a first proper taste of what to expect at the latest addition to the F1 calendar.
Heading onto a flying lap it soon becomes obvious why speeds are expected to soar. Despite its street circuit DNA the Jeddah track is blazingly fast, filled with long straights and high-speed swoops which modern F1 cars can easily take flat out.
As can be seen on the onboard video, Turn 1 is a medium-speed chicane to sort out the pack at the start. It is followed by a combination of ultra-fast corners leading onto the first DRS straight.
The circuit then turns back on itself with a banked 180 degree left-hander for more flat-out kinks with blind approaches and barely any run-off areas.
That’s where it becomes clear the track’s character is most reminiscent of the Baku street circuit and in particular its fast final sector; except the Saudi track provides a full six kilometres of it.
The snaking back end of the circuit doesn’t feature a braking zone for over 30 seconds before leading to the final hairpin, so expect cold brakes to provide an additional challenge to drivers and teams.
With the circuit’s lack of run-offs, the blind nature of its many corners and the fact that the race will be run at night, it’s clear to see why Jeddah could provide plenty of drama.