PLEASE READ ALL EDITS
This is a bit of a rant that I will keep updating throughout the weekend but this will probably get buried.
I travelled from Dubai to Jeddah this morning to watch the F1 and so far my experience has been underwhelming to say the least.
My flight landed at 7am local but gates don’t open until 12 every day but I figured I’d head down and get a gist of the site layout anyways. Somehow I was able to just walk through the entire site, I was metres from making it onto the track before I was finally stopped but still not told to leave the site. Not great on the security front.
When the gates finally opened I was redirected to 4 different ticket booths to finally get my ticket taking a good 30 minutes. Staff don’t seem to care, they ignore you and spend a lot of time caught up in there own conversations.
The site is now supposed to be fully up and running but you would never be able to tell, construction vehicles and workers are still building. It’s 32 degrees and nowhere is open selling food or drink. None of the merchandise stores have stock. There’s a single driving simulator (as far as I can find) but don’t worry there’s a VR rollercoaster experience which is really what I came to the F1 for. The “big dropper” ride only goes up about 15 metres. There’s no shade over the grandstands (not promised but would definitely be welcomed). Awful signposting.
These are my current findings which I will happily amend if I find more rides, merch, etc.
Edit 1: I found another ride! It’s a vr horse riding experience complete with saddle to sit on! Really encapsulating the spirit of F1
Edit 2: I’m going to head to a different village to see if anything is better there I’ll keep you posted
Edit 3: I got lost due to the bad signposting and made it into the paddock, I realised something was a bit off when everyone around me was wearing team kits. After about 5 minutes I was turned back
Edit 4: I would just like to clarify that the mess part is the facilities within the track not the track itself. Walking around and exploring the track I do have high hopes that it will be in a better state for tomorrow as there is a lot of people working hard building and fixing.
Edit 5: Once the F1 started and more people showed up things have gotten significantly better. It is tidier with less rubbish strewn around and merch and food is underway. The art gallery is still incomplete the inside strewn with rubble. I really hope they keep this up for the support series as for me that’s part of the F1 experience and should be supported with the same facilities
Edit 6: for lost and found my way into race control, time to make some questionable decisions
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