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Riyadh Confirmed as Season Five Opener

Riyadh has been confirmed as the host of the first Season Five E-Prix in December…

Photo: Formula E

Season Five of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship will begin in Riyadh in December after a ten-year deal to host an E-Prix in the Saudi Arabian capital was announced on Thursday.

The second-generation Formula E cars will race for the first time in the Ad Diriyah district, marking the first international single-seater race to be held in the Middle Eastern country.

It will take place on a currently unconfirmed date in December.

The announcement was formalized in the Berlin E-Prix paddock by Formula E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag, who was joined by his Royal Highness Prince Khaled Bin Sultan Bin Abdullah Al Faisal, President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, and His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, Vice-Chair of the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority.

“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 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.

“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.”

As reported by e-racing365 in April, a race in Riyadh has been in the works.

Saudi Arabia has recently relaxed laws for entering the country, with tourist visas now available for the first time since 2010.

It has also made significant investments in recent years to further promote structured tourism industry and also to implement awareness of EV technology as it aims to rely less on its oil reserves.

The full Season Five calendar is set to be announced at the next World Motorsport Council meeting, which will be held on June 7 in the Philippines.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Old Trombone

    May 17, 2018 at 11:55 am

    List of drivers I expect AT LEAST ONE of which to get the “Kobayashi” seat in Riyadh:

    Aurora Straus
    Christina Nielsen
    Kat Legge
    Renee Gracie
    Dominique Van Wieringen
    Tatiana Calderon
    Lucile Cypriano
    Sophia Flörsch
    Vivien Keszthelyi
    Alisha Abdullah
    Laleh Seddigh (her appearance would probably net Agag the Nobel Peace Prize)
    Beitske Visser (she has lots of electric racing experience, currently working with a university on this tech)
    Magda Andersson
    Jamie Chadwick
    Abbie Eaton
    Alice Powell
    Kayli Barker
    Nicole Behar
    Natalie Decker
    Danica Patrick

    WOW! So many fast drivers on this list who have major results at major international races. Surely one is fast enough? I mean, it’s not as if they have a limitation as a class, right?

  2. Old Trombone

    May 17, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Saudi Arabia is focusing on renewables? Hmmm, looks like they figured out why the USA keeps their own oil in the ground while spending whatever it takes to get Arabian oil out of their ground and burned…

    Ever wonder why Stalingrad was the turning point of WWII? That’s when Russia stopped the Wehrmacht from getting to the Caspian Sea oil. The Normandy beach assault was an outcome of that, not an initiative. Gulf 1991 proved to all that boots-on-ground is the winning strategy, not no-fly-zones. And boots on the ground need tank support, and tanks need oil.

    When solid-state batteries get good and can run a tank all day and all night, look for the battles in this area of the world to fade away….

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