Formula E has announced a 10-year deal for a race in Saudi Arabia on the streets of its capital city Riyadh, starting with the 2018/19 season opener in December.
It will be the first Formula E race in the Middle East, and will be the first race to feature the new Gen2 car which can complete a race distance without the mid-race car swap.
The date of the event, as well as the rest of next season’s calendar, is still subject to confirmation by the World Motor Sport Council.
“Bringing racing to Riyadh for the first round of the new season is the perfect setting for the next phase of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship,” said Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag.
“An exciting and vibrant country that is focussing on its future, Saudi Arabia will be the ideal venue to mark the competitive debut of the next generation Formula E cars.
“We think Saudi Arabia – with the new vision of Prince Abdulaziz, Prince Khalid and the country – is a fitting location to launch the latest chapter of the electric street racing series. Many other sports are already increasing their presence in Saudi Arabia and we’re proud that they’ve chosen Formula E over other categories in racing.
“Most countries are now looking to Formula E, especially Saudi Arabia which is concentrating on the development of new technologies, renewable energies and electric vehicles.”
The Riyadh event will be part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to increase tourism and decrease its reliance on oil revenue by 2030.
“Saudi Arabia is looking to the future and Formula E is the motorsport of the future, that’s why this is such an exciting opportunity,” said Prince Abdulaziz.
“It aligns perfectly with the country’s 2030 vision and offers the prospect of world-class racing on the streets of the capital for the first time in our history. For all fans, men, women, young and old, the dream of a hosting a ‘home race’ will now come true.
“The length of the partnership will give Saudi Arabia and Formula E the platform to create a lasting legacy for both the sport globally and the Kingdom over the course of a decade. This is the latest in a series of game-changing sports events that the people of Saudi Arabia will now be able to enjoy as families, with benefits that go far beyond the sport to deliver a positive impact across our society.”