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.