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.”

Plug in and follow the ABB FIA Formula E Championship on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube – @FIAFormulaE #ABBFormulaE


Messi sent off, Athletic beats Barca in Spanish Super Cup

Messi sent off, Athletic beats Barca in Spanish Super Cup
Updated 13 min 41 sec ago

Messi sent off, Athletic beats Barca in Spanish Super Cup

Messi sent off, Athletic beats Barca in Spanish Super Cup
  • Iñaki Williams' goal in extra time gave Athletic the lead and a come-from-behind win

MADRID: Lionel Messi lost his cool after another Barcelona collapse on Sunday, hitting an opponent away from the ball and being sent off for the first time while playing with the Catalan club in the team’s 3-2 loss to Athletic Bilbao in the final of the Spanish Super Cup.
Iñaki Williams' goal in extra time gave Athletic the lead and a come-from-behind win. Barcelona had little chance of recovering when Messi swung his right arm toward the head of an Athletic player while trying to free himself. Messi was shown the red card following a video review.
The card came in his 753rd appearance with Barcelona. He has been sent off twice with Argentina, including in his national team debut in 2005. The other red card with Argentine came in the 2019 Copa America.
Messi could face a lengthy suspension for his ejection on Sunday.
After Athletic scored in the 90th minute to seal a 2-2 draw and force extra time, Williams netted the title-clinching goal with a neat curling shot from just inside the area, with the ball hitting the far post before going into the top corner.
“Because of what it meant for the team, this is the best goal of my career,” Williams said.
The goal three minutes into extra time secured Athletic its third Super Cup title, and first since it beat Barcelona in the 2015 final. The Basque Country club also won the title in 1984.
Barcelona was seeking its 15th Super Cup title, and third in the last five seasons. It was also looking to end its title drought after going without a trophy last season, something that hadn't happened since 2007-08. The team got off to a slow start this season and trails Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid in the Spanish league.
Messi, who asked to leave Barcelona in the offseason but had his request denied, had been doubtful to play in the final because of an unspecified fitness issue that had caused coach Ronald Koeman to leave him out of the semifinal against Real Sociedad on Wednesday, when Barcelona prevailed in a penalty shootout.
He helped set up Antoine Griezmann's first goal on Sunday but was far from his best throughout the match at the La Cartuja Stadium in Seville.
Barcelona opened the scoring with a shot from the middle of the area by Griezmann in the 40th minute but Athletic equalized two minutes later with a close-range strike by Óscar de Marcos after a well-placed cross by Williams. Griezmann put Barcelona ahead with another shot from inside the area in the 77th but Athletic evened the match again with Asier Villalibre finding the net following a set piece in the 90th.
Villalibre was the player hit by Messi in the final minutes as the players tangled together outside the area. The ball was already on the left side of the area when the incident happened.
Athletic, which beat defending champion Real Madrid 2-1 in the other semifinal, had a 57th-minute goal disallowed by video review because of offside following a header by Raúl García, who had netted twice in the semifinal.
The final was the third match in charge for Athletic coach Marcelino García Toral. His debut had been against Barcelona in a league game at home, when Messi scored twice to help the Catalan club recover from an early goal by Williams and secure a 3-2 victory.
“The players deserve all the credit for this achievement,” the new coach said. “They defeated Real Madrid and Barcelona to be able to win this trophy.”
Accompanying the Athletic squad in Seville was Aritz Aduriz, the club’s former striker who was forced to retire last season because of a hip injury.
When Athletic defeated Barcelona in 2015, the Spanish Super Cup final was still played in two legs between the Spanish league and Copa del Rey winners.
This year’s edition was moved to southern Spain after the coronavirus pandemic stopped it from being played in Saudi Arabia for a second straight season. The tournament’s revamped Final Four format includes the top two finishers in the Spanish league and the finalists of the Copa del Rey from the previous season.