Introducing the Qiddiya Speed Track: F1's answer to Mario Kart

Published: 06 March 2024 Updated: 06 March 2024

► Meet F1’s next new track
► Will replace Jeddah as the host of the Saudi Arabian GP
► Features 108 metres of elevation changes over 21 corners

F1 has just revealed an all-new track that will eventually host the Saudi Arabian GP. Called the Qiddiya Speed Track, it’s F1’s biggest step yet to total Mario Kart-ification, and will eventually take the place of the Jeddah street track. To be honest, it looks spectacular.

Is that Rainbow Road? 

It’s not, but a trailer put out around the announcement seems to suggest something that you could easily see Luigi doing hot laps on. Details of length are non-existent, but we do know it’ll be 21 corners long, and feature man-made topography changes: the first corner will rise around 20-storeys high. There’ll be 108 metres of elevation gain per lap, and it’ll be divided into a street section as well a fast-flowing section. Drivers should reach top speeds of just over 200mph.

Like so many other modern tracks, it’s been penned partly by Hermann Tilke, but has also had input from former F1 driver Alexander Wurz. And to complete the theme park atmosphere, it’ll run alongside Falcon, the fastest and tallest rollercoaster in the world and part of the adjacent Six Flags theme park.

When will it be finished? 

The track forms part of the Qiddiya City megaproject, which aims to turn the area into a global destination for tourism, entertainment and everything else. It’s been in progress since 2019, but the Qiddiya Speed Track is by far the most visible aspect so far. 

While there’s no definite ETA for the new track, it appears it’ll be finished at least by 2027 – as that’s when it’ll assume the role of Saudi Arabian GP from Jeddah. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes