LEWIS HAMILTON is set for a timely boost in his F1 title battle with Max Verstappen next out in Saudi Arabia.
The new circuit is close to completion ahead of next week’s inaugural grand prix in Jeddah.
The street circuit promises to be the second-quickest track on the F1 calendar behind Monza with high-speed corners similar to Silverstone.
That plays into Mercedes‘ hands as they have shown considerable pace over Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.
And another thing that swings this epic title race in Hamilton‘s favour comes in the form of his new “spicy engine”, he used to power his way to glory in Brazil.
Merc boss Toto Wolff said: “Saudi should be a good track for us but we know this year when you think it’s a good one it can turn the other way around, but it’s a long straight.
“We’ll get our spicy engine out for Saudi Arabia that we didn’t use [in Qatar].”
Hamilton has explained that his team have managed to eek out the performance from his Mercedes without any major upgrades.
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He has managed to slash Verstappen’s lead from 19 to eight points in the last two races.
He added: “[We’ve] definitely been able to squeeze more performance out of the package without bringing any upgrades.
“We’ve not had an upgrade since Silverstone. It’s been quite phenomenal to see the small bits and the increments that we’ve been improving.
“It’s very close between the two cars clearly, so I think that lines us up for a great battle.
“In these last two [races], I think we’ve just been able to do a better job overall. And I hope that we can take this form into the next two.”
Meanwhile, organisers in Saudi are confident the track will be finished in time for the race on December 5th and are without any major concerns.
- Track length is 6,175 km making it the second longest circuit on the calendar after Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and the longest street track in F1.
- Average speeds are expected to reach 252km/h – the fastest street circuit on the calendar with highest speeds estimated to peak at 322km/h between Turns 25-27.
- When construction is complete, about 2,000 trees will be planted around the circuit.
- 37,000 tons of asphalt have been used in the track’s construction.
- Construction of the circuit required 600,000 tons of cement, 30,000 square meters of bricks, and more than 1,400 tons of glass.
- Lighting levels are set at 1,500 lux, with more than 200,000 meters of cabling.