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Saudi Arabia to host first F1 Grand Prix in 2021
One of the richest deals in the history of Formula 1 will see Saudi Arabia host its inaugural Grand Prix in November next year.
Set to be Saudi Arabia’s biggest ever sporting event, the race will be on a new track running along the corniche of the Red Sea city of Jeddah and will be the centrepiece of a weekend of live motorsport, entertainment and culture.
A 10-year agreement between Formula 1 and the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF) forms part of the Kingdom’s plans to host an increasing number of international sporting events.
Announcing the new race, Chase Carey, Chairman and Chief Executive of Formula 1, stated “Saudi Arabia is a country that is rapidly becoming a hub for sports and entertainment with many major events taking place there in recent years and we are very pleased that Formula 1 will be racing there from next season.
“The region is hugely important to us and with 70% of the population of Saudi being under 30 we are excited about the potential to reach new fans and bring our existing fans around the world exciting racing from an incredible and historic location. We will be publishing our full provisional 2021 calendar in the coming weeks and this will be submitted to the World Motor Sport Council for approval.”
The reported hosting fee of US$900 million across the duration of the deal, follows F1 having had to slash its hosting fees to secure Grand Prix venues this year, according to Forbes.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second largest city, will host the race until a purpose-built track at Qiddiyah is completed in 2023.
F1 have announced that the final track design for the 2021 circuit is yet to be decided, though organisers want it to take place at night under the lights.
The Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit is set to the opening round of the 2021 Formula 1 season on 21st March while other races in the F1 calendar for 2021 have yet to be confirmed.
Images: The Red Sea city of Jeddah will host Saudi Arabia's inaugural Grand Prix next year (top, credit: Saudi Arabia Tourism) and an artist's impression of the Qiddiyah circuit (below).
1st October 2020 - Global sports survey shows impact of COVID-19 pandemic
30th September 2020 - Women-only waterpark opened in Saudi Arabia
25th August 2020 - Formula 1 adds Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Turkey to 2020 race calendar
24th July 2020 - UFC’s Abu Dhabi Fight Nights ‘absolutely a win’
28th April 2020 - Saudi Arabian investment fund acquires 5.7% stake in Live Nation
23rd April 2020 - Qatar and Saudi Arabia enter rival bids to host 2030 Asian Games
13th March 2020 - Australian Grand Prix called off due to Coronavirus concerns
25th February 2020 - Saudi Arabia commences construction on NEOM
13th February 2020 - Coronavirus fears sees postponement of F1 Chinese Grand Prix
4th February 2020 - Golf Saudi advances regional strategy with support from STRI
14th January 2020 - Formula One secures first ever gambling sponsor
3rd January 2020 - New research shows increasing tourist interest in visiting Saudi Arabia
6th November 2019 - New US$133 million Discover Saudi platform launched to drive tourism
6th October 2019 - Open space and cultural projects aim to transform Saudi Arabian capital
27th September 2019 - Saudi Arabia looks to open up to non-Muslim international tourists
8th August 2019 - Qiddiya giga-project reveals new master plan video
19th July 2019 - Melbourne secures Formula 1 Grand Prix until at least 2025
30th October 2017 - Saudi Arabia to allow women to attend stadium-based sport
19th September 2017 - Singapore Grand Prix attendance rises by 19%
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