In the next season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, a lot of changes are expected to come into effect. For starters, there will be new Formula E race cars, which no longer need to be swapped for another car half-way through the race. New teams and major manufacturers will also be joining the all-electric series for the first time ever. Now, the organizers have announced that Formula E will be heading to oil-rich Saudi Arabia for the first time ever; and will also play host to the upcoming season's inaugural race.
The inaugural Saudia Ad Diriyah E Prix will be held at the ancient city of Diriyah, an UNESCO heritage site located in the outskirts of Riyahd. The historical city previously was the first seat of power for the Saudi kings. Soon, it will once again make history by hosting the Formula E race along with the live music and entertainment brough about by the sport.
During the announcement, Felipe Massa took the streets of Riyahd to launch the upcoming Formula E Grand Prix with the all-new Gen2 Formula E cars. Other key figures such Susie Wolff and Formula E officials were also present during the event.
Along side the upcoming Formula E race, the Saudi Arabian government announced that they will also launching a new online visa application called 'Sharek'. The online visa application would make the process easier and is also part of the country's Vision2030 plan. Organizers hope that a large number of international fans will access the online application and travel to the country for the debut of Formula E in Saudi Arabia.
“We are not just opening up to international fans, but importantly we are opening up our nation to new and exciting sports. Giving new experiences. We hope some of the children who watch this first race will be inspired to be part of the industry over the course of the next decade. Ideally, they’ll be supporting, competing and winning on the track too. We firmly believe new opportunities will grow from the seeds planted from the historical roots of our nation in Diriyah,” said Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal Al Saud, president of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation.