Formula 1 teams and drivers may be able to exploit different strategic options during this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, thanks to a design characteristic built into the track by its architect.
Carsten Tilke, Managing Director of Tilke GmbH, the architects behind the new Jeddah Corniche Circuit, has explained that a shorter than usual pit lane entry means less time will be lost in the pits compared to other tracks.
"We try to make different strategies possible; this is something that we aim for," Tilke told UK radio station talkSPORT, revealing that the company worked in close consultation with F1 tyre supplier Pirelli to evaluate how best to open up different strategic options.
"[This] provides one more element to the race, which makes it interesting, so not everyone is picking the same strategy.
"For example, to have quite a short pit entry and exit, you're not losing so much time when you go in, which makes it possible to make one-stop, two-stop, even three-stop strategies."
No interest in comparing to other circuits
While Red Bull's Christian Horner has called Jeddah "Suzuka with walls", other comparisons have been made with Baku's third sector due to the fast sweeps of the circuit being sandwiched between solid barriers.
Tilke, though, is reluctant to compare his new creation to any other tracks on the F1 calendar.
"It's difficult to compare it; I really thought about this," he commented.
"You can maybe say this passage here, this passage there [is like another track], but for me, I can't compare it.
"It's really fast, it doesn't have all the buildings inside like a street circuit, when you think of Baku or Monaco or Singapore. This makes it better to make nice corner combinations, and not 90-degree corners, which is normal in a city."
It's the challenge of the first sector that Tilke has earmarked as possibly his favourite sequence of corners, which will force drivers to think about their lines.
He explained: "What I think is very interesting is the passage from Turns 4 to 10. It's a very fast, flowing S combination [that] will be challenging for the drivers to find the right lines.
"Turn 13 is also a cool 12 percent banked corner, so there are a lot of different elements."
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