Saudi Arabia to host Formula 1 race in 2021

Saudi Arabia to host Formula 1 race in 2021
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Saudi Arabia announced Thursday that it will host the Formula 1 Grand Prix in its Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah in Nov. 2021. (Ministry of Sport)
Saudi Arabia to host Formula 1 race in 2021
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Minister of Sport Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal announces the race on Thursday. (Supplied)
Saudi Arabia to host Formula 1 race in 2021
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Minister of Sport Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal announced the race on Thursday. (Supplied)
Saudi Arabia to host Formula 1 race in 2021
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Minister of Sport Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal announced the race on Thursday. (Supplied)
Saudi Arabia to host Formula 1 race in 2021
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Minister of Sport Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Formula 1 Group CEO Chase Carey and the chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal pose for a photo. (Supplied)
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Updated 06 November 2020

Saudi Arabia to host Formula 1 race in 2021

Saudi Arabia to host Formula 1 race in 2021
  • Prestige event puts Kingdom in driving seat as global sports center, minister says
  • Prince Abdul Aziz: Welcome to Formula 1 and welcome to the champions

LONDON: Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday that it will host a Formula 1 Grand Prix in its Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah in November, 2021.

Announcing the race in a ceremony on the Jeddah waterfront, Minister of Sport Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said that the high-profile event will increase tourist numbers to the Kingdom. 

“Welcome to Formula 1 and welcome to the champions,” Prince Abdul Aziz said.

He said that the race will help the Kingdom become a center for international sporting events. 

“We realize the extent to which the people of Saudi Arabia are keen to always be at the center of the most important sporting and international events, especially that this is the first opportunity to follow Formula 1 races on Saudi land,” the minister said.

“Formula 1 races will be a great opportunity in the future to further promote positive developments in society, provide more options to enrich the life of our community and encourage it to test new experiences,” Prince Abdul Aziz added.

The race will be held in the Kingdom as part of a 15-year partnership between the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation and Formula 1.

The Jeddah Corniche will be the start and end point of the race, and a variety of recreational and cultural events will add to spectators’ enjoyment. 

Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal, chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, said that the Kingdom is well qualified to host events such as the Formula 1 race.

Saudi Arabia has “learned a lot from hosting the Dakar Rally, the electric Formula E series,” and other sporting events during the past two years, he said.  

The CEO and executive chairman of the Formula 1 Group, Chase Carey, welcomed the announcement. 

“Saudi Arabia is growing tremendously to become a major center for sport in the world, and this is evident through the many international events it had held in past years, and now it will host one of the Formula 1 tours,” Carey said. 

He said the Kingdom “is a very important region for us,” adding that about 70 percent of the Saudi population is under 30.

“That is why we are excited to communicate and interact with them, and enhance their great passion for Formula 1,” the CEO added. 

The Saudi Grand Prix appears on the provisional F1 calendar for 2021 that has been distributed to race teams. It is expected to be the penultimate race of the 2021 season, which will end with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit.

Jeddah will host the Saudi race until a new purpose-built track at Qiddiyah is completed in 2023.

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Arteta eyes new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players

Arteta eyes new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players
Updated 22 January 2021

Arteta eyes new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players

Arteta eyes new signings as Arsenal shed fringe players

LONDON: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is focusing on potential signings in the January transfer window after trimming his squad but refused to be drawn on a loan move for Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard

Sokratis Papastathopoulos was released from his contract this week, while Mesut Ozil is on the brink of a transfer to Turkish club Fenerbahce.

Sead Kolasinac and William Saliba have already left on loan deals as Arteta seeks to re-balance his squad.

The Arsenal boss, speaking ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round match at Southampton, would not be drawn on reports linking the club with a loan move for Real’s attacking midfielder Odegaard.

But he said the focus would now turn to the entrance door rather than the exit at the Emirates.

“We are in that process now,” Arteta said on Thursday when asked if it was now time to start bringing players in.

“We have done the first part more or less and we are focusing now on the second phase.

“Obviously this market and the context makes it difficult, but we are looking at options and we will see what we can do.”

Arteta, whose team are FA Cup holders, said the departures had left his squad short in certain areas.

He said a left-back could be on the radar, with the decision to allow Kolasinac to join Schalke until the end of the season leaving him with only Kieran Tierney as a natural option.

“With the departure of Kola we are a little bit short with left-footed fullbacks at the moment,” he added.

Both Ozil and Sokratis were omitted from Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads for the first half of the season.

Arteta had stressed several times he was unhappy with the bloated nature of the squad and feels the departures will help him achieve a better balance.

“We could not carry on with 31 players in the squad,” he said. “It is unmanageable. And when you have to leave some of the foreign players out, it makes it even  more difficult.

“To do it for a few weeks is OK, to do it for months and maintain the health, the ambition and the chemistry is really complicated.

“So one of the main objectives was to make some decisions about how we are going to offset that. We have done it.”