Formula E to electrify Saudi streets with Diriyah night race

Formula E to electrify Saudi streets with Diriyah night race
The Diriyah track will host Formula E’s first ever night race. (AN Photo)
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Updated 24 November 2020

Formula E to electrify Saudi streets with Diriyah night race

Formula E to electrify Saudi streets with Diriyah night race
  • Formula E will light the track with low consumption LED technology powered by fully renewable energy
  • Formula E Chief Championship Officer Alberto Longo: I am confident the race will be spectacular and lead to a style of competitive action we haven’t seen before

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah track will host Formula E’s first all-electric night race as part of the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship calendar. Always focused on innovative, sustainable solutions, Formula E will light the track with low consumption LED technology powered by fully renewable energy.

Formula E confirmed that the all-electric ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will literally light up the streets of Diriyah as it returns to the historic desert surroundings of the UNESCO World Heritage site for the third year in a row.

Set for a spectacular double header in the dark, the first sport to have net zero carbon since inception will once again use its platform to share a positively charged call-to-action, reminding fans that even the most intense and unpredictable racing can take place without the environment paying the price.

Lighting the track with the latest low consumption LED technology will reduce energy consumption by up to fifty percent compared to non-LED technologies. The remaining energy needed to power the floodlighting will be fully renewable provided by high performing low-carbon certified hydrogenated vegetable oil made from sustainable materials.

With a founding purpose to counteract climate change, Formula E’s commitment to deliver better futures through racing drives its ongoing environmental, economic and social sustainability initiatives around the world.

Saudi Arabia is the perfect partner on this mission, as it embraces its own sustainability journey as part of Vision 2030. 

The Diriyah E-Prix will run at 17:00 GMT (20:00 local time) on February 26 and 27. It follows the debut of the 2020/21 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Santiago, Chile with two races on January 16 and 17.


Alberto Longo, co-founder and Chief Championship Officer of Formula E, said: “We are very proud to partner with Saudi to create Formula E’s first ever night race. I am confident the race will be spectacular and lead to a style of competitive action we haven’t seen before. As with everything we do, our first thought was about how to bring our sporting vision to life in a sustainable way. Before we innovate our racing product we must be confident we can maintain the standards of sustainable practice we hold ourselves accountable to.”

Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, the Minister of Sport added: “In 2018 the ancient historical city of Diriyah made history in hosting the first fully-electric race on the streets of the region. The debut event sparked so much joy and energy to our sporting journey and was one of a number of major sporting firsts that have since inspired our people and helped to shine a spotlight on Saudi Arabia’s massive transformation under the Kingdom’s vision 2030.  

“In 2019 Diryah was the first to host back to back races during a race weekend and now once again we will make sporting history. It is very fitting that a place so ancient will showcase the latest in sustainable technology as Diriyah lights up to shine bright for the world to see. We look forward to the dramatic racing and incredible scenes that are guaranteed to unfold under the lights.”

Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, said: “The inaugural Diriyah E-Prix was the Kingdom’s first major international event, last year it became the Middle East’s first double-header and in February, it will be the first ever night race for the all-electric ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, we’re really proud of this. Saudi Arabia is on a journey of embracing renewable energy 

and technology, and Formula E is more than just a race to be the best, it’s a partnership committed to the future of sustainable technology.”

Carlo Boutagy, CEO of CBX the official promoter, said: “With the circular economy being a key pillar of Vision 2030, we are thrilled to be quite literally shining a light on sustainability through hosting Formula E’s first ever night race. As a promoter, the fan experience is at the forefront of our event and we always aim to raise the bar year-on-year, and we have no doubt that the Diriyah E-Prix will be a spectacle unlike any other.”

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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.”