Formula E
Formula E
24 Apr
Next event in
10 days
R
Valencia ePrix II
25 Apr
Next event in
11 days
R
Monaco ePrix
08 May
Next event in
24 days
R
Marrakesh ePrix
22 May
Next event in
38 days
05 Jun
Next event in
52 days
R
Santiago ePrix II
06 Jun
Next event in
53 days

Neom in frame to replace Diriyah as Saudi Formula E location

Neom has entered the frame to become the next location to host Formula E races in Saudi Arabia, with talks having taken place between city and championship officials. 

Neom in frame to replace Diriyah as Saudi Formula E location

Motorsport.com reported last month that the current Diriyah venue in the capital of Riyadh is in line to be superseded amid plans to highlight more of the country and boost domestic tourism. 

This comes as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 programme, which has been devised to reduce the state’s reliance on oil for economic growth following the 2014-15 price collapse.  

The planned smart city of Neom, situated by the Red Sea, is known to be very interested in hosting future Formula E races in its bid to become a “centre for sporting excellence”.  

Neom sports partnership director Neal Coupland told Motorsport.com: “Saudi Arabia has shown its ambitions to host a variety of different forms of motorsport.  

“[Neom] is excited about the possibility and the future of hosting a Formula E event.” 

After three editions of the Diriyah E-Prix to date, Formula E has eight years remaining on its 10-year deal with the Saudi General Sports Authority to host races in the country, but no one location has exclusivity. 

Neom has already hosted a leg of the 2021 Dakar Rally and Extreme E could move there also following a maiden Desert X-Prix event in the Alula region across 3-4 April this year. 

Coupland added that tentative talks had already taken place between Neom and Formula E officials, with senior figures from the city having attended the Diriyah night races last month. 

He said: “We’d be very interested in having more serious discussions about it.  

“There’s been some loose conversations. 

"We’ve talked to Formula E and we’ve talked to Extreme E and we’re excited by the developments in both of those.  

“I have no doubt that one day [Formula E] will be in Neom, but we don’t know exactly which year it will be yet.” 

Read Also:

Neom has a commercial deal in place with the Mercedes Formula E team, with its branding featuring prominently on the Silver Arrow 02s' nosecone and wheel covers. 

Mercedes driver Stoffel Vandoorne also completed a demonstration run on the city’s Magna Road as a part of a promotional event in the build-up the 2021 season opener. Screens were also set up in Neom to televise the races. 

The headline structure for the Neom smart city is a 100-mile road, known as ‘the Line’, which could extend to connect the neighbouring Jordan and Egypt.  

Coupland said: “Because it’s Neom, I think we’d do a race differently to everybody else.  

“If we can’t show off ‘the Line’ because of the obvious constraints [for a race track], we’re pretty confident we can show off another amazing part of the city with a Formula E race.  

“That’s something we’d love to get into conversations about.” 

shares
comments

Related video

Formula E drivers call for change to qualifying format

Previous article

Formula E drivers call for change to qualifying format

Next article

Formula E drivers react to "lottery" 2021 tyre rules

Formula E drivers react to "lottery" 2021 tyre rules
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula E
Author Matt Kew
How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome Prime

How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome

Another Formula E double-header, another double dose of frantic action. While the form guide remains unpredictable following fightback wins for Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne in Rome, the speed and consistency of Mercedes – both on and off the track – could have its rivals worried for what is to follow

Formula E
Apr 12, 2021
What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future Prime

What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future

Formula E's Gen3 era grid continues to take shape, after Nissan opted to commit to the series for another four years. Nissan's global chief operating officer explains why it has thrown its lot in with FE while other high-profile marques have decided to call it quits.

Formula E
Mar 24, 2021
Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start Prime

Why the new Formula E season got off to such a controversial start

With the new Formula E season belatedly getting underway in Saudi Arabia, the championship appeared to try to make up for lost time with an overspill of action and controversy on and off the track. While some talking points could have serious repercussions, it was an explosive opener for many reasons.

Formula E
Mar 1, 2021
The eight major plotlines to watch in Formula E 2021 Prime

The eight major plotlines to watch in Formula E 2021

The delayed 2020-21 Formula E season gets underway this week with a double-header in Saudi Arabia. The testing times were too close to call a favourite, but that's not the only area of interest to follow as the championship enters a crucial year

Formula E
Feb 25, 2021
Why Formula E's 2021 season will be a crucial litmus test Prime

Why Formula E's 2021 season will be a crucial litmus test

As off-track politics threatens to overshadow events on it, the upcoming Formula E season is perhaps its most important since the championship's inception. And that's a shame, given that the focus should be on what promises to be its closest title fight yet.

Formula E
Feb 24, 2021
How Mercedes and Porsche can avoid a difficult second FE album Prime

How Mercedes and Porsche can avoid a difficult second FE album

Mercedes and Porsche compete to win and have done so across the board: in Formula 1, sportscars, the Dakar Rally and endurance road races - even working together to break land speed records. Next in the crosshairs is the Formula E teams' championship crown.

Formula E
Feb 17, 2021
What Formula E must do for McLaren to act on its attraction Prime

What Formula E must do for McLaren to act on its attraction

News that McLaren is formally considering a Formula E move is a much-needed boost for a series that took some punches at the end of 2020. But to allay any doubts that Zak Brown may have, FE must take action on its biggest potential stumbling block

Formula E
Jan 11, 2021
Why BMW and Audi have pulled the plug on Formula E Prime

Why BMW and Audi have pulled the plug on Formula E

BMW and Audi shocked the Formula E fraternity by announcing their departures at the end of the 2020-21 season. Overnight, the championship has been dealt something of a "wake-up call" - including questions about its relevance to manufacturers.

Formula E
Dec 3, 2020