FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi says he has no doubt construction of the new Jeddah Corniche Circuit will be completed in time for the first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix next month.
The track is due to host the penultimate round of the world championship and could decide the title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. However the team working on the site face a race against time to complete construction of the 6.1-kilometre course.
Masi has visited the venue to inspect progress when possible between F1 races. “I was there a couple of weeks ago and obviously there is a lot going on there,” he said.
“There’s a huge amount of work happening concurrently. But the FIA and F1 are getting daily updates of where things are at and it’s progressing very, very quickly.”
“There’s a lot to do. There’s nothing to deny there. I think everyone will acknowledge there’s a lot to do. But I’m still confident of the race going ahead, no problems.”
Track data: Jeddah Corniche Circuit
Before taking over as F1 race director in 2019 Masi was involved in other new track projects which were completed at short notice before holding their first event. They included construction of the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam, South Korea, which received approval to hold its first race in 2010 just nine days before F1 practice began at the venue.
“I think there’s always an element of worrying with everything but I’m quite confident,” said Masi.
“Particularly having been involved in Korea in 2010 which was the last one that was talked about. And I think India was talked about and both of those went off, no problems at all, and I’m quite confident that Saudi will be exactly the same.”
Masi was adamant no compromises will be made with the safety standards at the circuit. “They will comply with every safety requirement, I’m very confident of that,” he stated. “Very confident.”
The approach to the final corner at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2021
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