Riyadh to become Formula E season five opener


Agag, Abdullah AlFaisal, Turki AlFaisal: Riyadh E-Prix announcement
Credit: Formula E

The 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship will kick off in the Middle-East, with the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh scheduled to host the opening round of the season in December.

Formula E will not only bring international motorsport to Saudi Arabia for the first time but they will also host the first fully-electric race in the region, as part of a 10-year agreement with the General Sports Authority and the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation.

The race will signal the start of a new era of Formula E, with the eagerly-anticipated race debut of the all-new gen-2 cars.

The announcement was made by Prince Khaled Bin Sultan Bin Abdullah AlFaisal, President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, with Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, the Vice-Chair of the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority, and the Founder and CEO of ABB FIA Formula E, Alejandro Agag.

The Season Five Formula E calendar is pending official confirmation by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, who will meet next month.

The Riyadh ePrix will see the Formula E cars navigate the streets of the Ad Diriyah district, with experienced motorsport promoter, Carlo Boutagy assigned to deliver a world-class race through his company CBX. Details of the circuit layout are yet to be released.

Speaking about the new race, Agag said: “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. An exciting and vibrant country that is focusing 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.”
Prince Abdulaziz said that he was looking to create a long-lasting legacy by hosting the race: “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. 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. As a driver myself, who cares about growing the sport, nothing could make me happier. 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.
“Also for the next generation of Formula E, perhaps with a future champion, technician, engineer or team manager watching from the crowd in Riyadh and being inspired by the sport.”