Saudi Arabia night race confirmed for 2021 Formula 1 season


Saudi Arabia will host a Formula 1 race for the first time in 2021 in the city of Jeddah

Saudi Arabian GP track

Jeddah will host F1's newest night race in 2021

Formula 1 will add a brand new race to the 2021 calendar with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix confirmed for the 2021 season.

A street circuit in the city of Jeddah will host a new night race, which is pencilled in for November, 5, joining a potentially packed calendar for next season.

The race will take place in the second-largest city in the country, starting and finishing along the corniche on the edge of the Red Sea.

Saudi Arabia has hosted several high-profile sporting events in recent years and has been accused of “sportswashing” in the face of the nation’s poor human rights record.

“We are excited to welcome Saudi Arabia to Formula 1 for the 2021 season and welcome their announcement following speculation in recent days,” F1 CEO Chase Carey said.

“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 per cent of the population of Saudi being under thirty 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 Motorsport Council for approval.”

The Sports Minister for Saudi Arabia His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal Al Saud said that hosting a Formula 1 race would be “a dream come true” for many fans in the country.”

“Saudi Arabia is accelerating forward and the speed, energy, excitement of Formula 1 perfectly reflects the transformational journey the country is on.

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“As we’ve witnessed in recent years our people want to be at the very heart of the biggest moments in live sport and entertainment. And they don’t come any bigger than Formula 1. No matter where in the world it’s held, Formula 1 is an event that brings people together to celebrate an occasion that goes far beyond sport.

“We look forward to sharing this unique experience and sharing Jeddah with the world. For many Saudis this will be a dream come true.”

Rumours of a Saudi date have been ongoing for some time, with a purpose-built racing circuit in the works for a future race beyond 2022 according to F1.

Saudi Arabia will be the third race to take place in the Middle East after Bahrain and Abu Dhabi joined the calendar in 2004 and 2009 respectively.

It’s expected to be held ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which is contractually locked in as the final race.