F1 set to add a night race in Saudi Arabia for 2021 season

The city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia will host the country’s first F1 Grand Prix after being featured in the F1 2021 calendar.
Left to right, Prince Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chase Carey and Prince Khaled Al Faisal in Imola. Photo Source

Saudi Arabia will be the 33rd country to host an F1 World Championship race when it features in the growing 2021 F1 calendar. 

Formula 1 has announced a long-term partnership with the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF), to bring F1 races to Saudi Arabia. 

The brand new Grand Prix will be a street track held at night in downtown Jeddah, which sits on the western coastline of Saudi Arabia. This would be the 3rd full night race F1 has held alongside Singapore and Bahrain. (Abu Dhabi is held during twilight hours). 

The race will start as a street circuit using the existing roads, but for the future, the organisers have said they will move to a purpose-built track. 

Jeddah is situated on the coast of the Red Sea which provides a visually beautiful backdrop for the track that the drivers are to race along. The area where the track is going to be set-up is called the ‘Cornich’ – a 30 km stretch of roads on the coastal area of the city. 

The track has not been finalised yet, but it will feature long straights and tight corners and following no other track that is on the calendar at the moment. 

Saudi Arabia has seen a huge investment in sporting events over the last few years. The country is not known for its sporting history, but recently it has held large sporting events including men’s and ladies golf on the European Tour, the rematch in boxing with Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz, Spanish and Italian Supercup finals, International Tennis and in motorsport, Formula E was in Riyadh, Dakar Rally and the new championship Extreme E in 2021.

F1 has not had a Saudi driver participate in the championship but in 2018 Aseel Al-Hamad a Saudi woman drove some demonstration laps in a Renault F1 car at the French Grand Prix on the same day Saudi Arabia made it legal for women to obtain a drivers licence.   

Current Chairman and F1 CEO Chase Carey has said on the new partnership; “We are excited to welcome Saudia Arabia to Formula 1 for the 2021 season and welcome their announcement following speculation in recent days.”

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