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Saudi Arabia to host 2018-19 season opener

Saudi Arabia will host the first round of the 2018-19 Formula E season as part of a 10-year agreement.

The second generation FE cars will make their racing debut on the streets of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, pending confirmation from the FIA World Motorsport Council.

“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 series CEO Alejandro Agag.

“An exciting and vibrant country that is focusing on the future, Saudi Arabia will be the ideal venue to mark the competitive debut of the next generation of Formula E cars.

“We think Saudi Arabia – with the new vision of Prince Abdulaziz [Vice-Chair of the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority], Prince Khalid [President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation], and the country – is a fitting location to launch the latest chapter of the electric street racing series. Many other sports are already increading their presence in Saudi Arabia and we’re proud that they’ve chosen Formula E over other categories in racing.”

Riyadh is not new to hosting motorsport events, recently holding the 2018 Race Of Champions.

The race is part of the country’s “Vision 2030” plan to reduce its reliance on money from oil exports.

“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,” said Prince Abdulaziz. “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.”

Bethonie Waring

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