The FIA Formula 2 series heads to Saudi Arabia for the second round of the 2022 season, where the grid will push the boundaries of the twenty-seven corners which complete the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
The circuit is the second longest on the 2022 Formula 2 calendar, coming in just behind Spa-Francorchamps. It also boasts the nickname of being the ‘fastest street circuit’ in single-seater racing.
The Story So Far
ART Grand Prix’s Théo Pourchaire goes into the second round as the championship leader following his Feature Race win at the Bahrain International Circuit last week, despite completing the final twelve laps of the race with a cracked helmet visor!
He fended off Carlin’s Liam Lawson and Hitech Grand Prix’s Jüri Vips who was in control up until an unfortunately slow pit-stop.
The FIA Formula 3 graduate, Jack Doohan, took pole position on Friday’s qualifying session, pipping Pourchaire to the better spot of the front-row by just a tenth in the first round of his first full season in F2.
Saturday’s Sprint Race was won by Trident’s Richard Verschoor after he took the lap at turn one and never looked back. It marked the first win in the new era of Formula 2 for the Italian racing outfit.
What Happened Last Year?
The seventh and penultimate round of the 2021 season, Jeddah proved to be another dominant performance by PREMA Racing’s Oscar Piastri on his way to the Formula 2 crown. The Australian won the Feature Race from Pole Position as well as winning Sprint Race 2.
The Feature Race got off to a shaky start after a horrific crash involving Pourchaire and Enzo Fittipaldi when the five lights went out. The Frenchman stalled in his box and was left stranded as the rest of the grid powered past him.
The Charouz Racing System driver then clattered into the back of him which immediately drew a red flag from race control, neutralising the session. Pourchaire was lucky to escape unscathed, but the Brazilian suffered a broken heel as well as other cuts and bruises.
In the post-race press conference after his win on Sunday, Pourchaire opened up about the mental challenges he has faced since the incident. He said, “Yeah, I struggled a bit. Since what happened in Jeddah last year, I’m not super confident at every start.”
“I need to work a bit on that. It’s not easy, I have some images in my head of what happened and it’s difficult, mentally it’s difficult, but I will work on that.”
Heading into this weekend, Fittipaldi also commented on how he feels regarding his return to the circuit, stating “It will be an interesting and demanding weekend, especially after what happened last year, but that is something that motivates me even more.”
“I really can’t wait to get in the car again, I love this street circuit, it’s amazing and very fast.”
Distance: 6.174km (3.836 miles)
Total Turns: 27
DRS Zones: 3
Available Tyre Compounds: Medium/Soft
Lap Record: 1:43.940 by Oscar Piastri in 2021 (PREMA Racing)
2021 Pole Position: 1:40.878 by Oscar Piastri (PREMA Racing)
- Free Practice: Friday @ 11:25 GMT (14:25 Local)
- Qualifying: Friday @ 15:20 GMT (18:25 Local)
- Sprint Race: Saturday @ 12:30 GMT (15:30 Local)
- Feature Race: Sunday @ 14:55 GMT (16:55 Local)