Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 6 December 2020

Saudi Arabia likely to host Formula One race in 2021 - reports

Street race in Jeddah is expected to be a part of fuller calendar

Mercedes driver and world champion Lewis Hamilton. Reuters
Mercedes driver and world champion Lewis Hamilton. Reuters

Saudi Arabia is set to host a Formula One grand prix for the first time next year, according to reports.

A street race in Jeddah is expected to feature on a record 22-round draft calendar presented to teams, according to the BBC.

Also, a second US race in Miami appears on hold for at least another year.

F1 teams were shown a draft 2021 calendar, with a final version unlikely to be published for weeks.

Saudi Arabia was the addition, likely to be paired with the season-ending round in Abu Dhabi, according to Reuters.

Jeddah, the country's second city, could host the race until a circuit in Qiddiya – about an hour's drive from the capital Riyadh – is built.

The vast Qiddiya entertainment resort is at the heart of an ambitious strategy to open the economy and ease social restrictions.

Saudi Arabia hosts the Dakar Rally in January while the all-electric Formula E series has two races in Diriyah scheduled for February 26-27.

A new Extreme E off-road electric series is due to race in Al Ula on March 20-21 while tennis, boxing and golf have held events in the country.

The pandemic has added to the uncertainty, although the sport's ability to race this year has boosted the chances of a fuller calendar.

The 2020 season would have featured 22 races, with Vietnam due to debut and the Dutch Grand Prix returning for the first time in 34 years, but was reduced to 17 due to coronavirus.

Formula One this year announced a long-term global partnership with state-owned energy giant Saudi Aramco and has been in talks for some time about a Saudi race.


Formula E in Saudi Arabia

Updated: October 28, 2020 04:55 PM

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