Saudi: Felipe Massa drives the first all-electric lap in Saudi Arabia to launch ‘Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix’ in December

Saudi: Felipe Massa drives the first all-electric lap in Saudi Arabia to launch ‘Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix’ in December

Tuesday, 25th September 2018: The countdown to Season 5 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship got underway in the ancient city of Diriyah when Felipe Massa drove the all-new Gen2 car to launch the series’ first Middle East extravaganza. The first competitive appearance of the new cars will be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on December 15th 2018 as the focal point of an all-star weekend of sport and entertainment: the Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix.

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag, Venturi Formula E team principal Susie Wolff, Venturi Formula E team driver Felipe Massa,

In an unprecedented step, the Formula E weekend will be the first time that Saudi Arabia will open up its borders to fans of live sport, music and culture with the launch of a new online visa process dedicated to welcoming international tourists. The new visa process platform known as ‘Sharek’ will be introduced for the inaugural Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix, the opening race to the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship being staged at a stunning UNESCO heritage site on the outskirts of Riyadh on 15th December 2018.

The ancient historical city of Diriyah, the first seat of power for Saudi’s Kings, will make history again by hosting the biggest festival of racing, live music and entertainment ever witnessed in the country, including thrilling action on the track and global superstars performing on stage over three days.

Today’s announcement at the venue, attended by Formula E stars including Felipe Massa, Susie Wolff and André Lotterer saw the new ‘Sharek’ platform launched as part of the country’s Vision2030 plan. Organizers hope that a large number of international fans will access the online visa process and travel to the country to witness the debut of Formula E in the Middle East and the debut of striking new-look Gen2 car for the start of season 5.

In an event marked by many firsts, the Ad Diriyah E Prix will be the first-time foreign travelers can access Saudi Arabia in such a fast and uncomplicated process as it opens its doors to sports tourism.

The Kingdom’s commitment to tourism, a cornerstone of Vision2030, and the importance of Formula E within the sporting, social and business calendar of the region, was underscored by the announcement that Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) – the national flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – is the new official airline partner of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship and the race title partner.

Felipe Massa and the Gen2 Formula E car launch the inaugural global motorsport event in Saudi Arabia, the Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix

His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki AlFaisal Al Saud, Vice-Chair of the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority, said: “This is a truly game-changing moment for Saudi Arabia and one that we can share with the world. It is very fitting that the such a futuristic and sustainable sport as Formula E is pointing to the future direction of our country. Naturally to have Saudia, our national carrier, as the new title sponsor signals our intent to reach out and invite fans to our historic and original capital.

“Saudi Arabia is home to literally millions of passionate young fans of motorsport. Many of whom simply cannot believe that Felipe Massa took the Gen2 car around the streets of the capital today and that they now have a ‘home race’ on the Formula E calendar. So already the excitement is building especially since we’re adding live music concerts to the weekend line-up.

“With the introduction with ‘Sharek’ our visa entry process for fans worldwide, we can share the event.  We hope the Saudia Diriyah E Prix will see fans from around the globe come to Saudi Arabia to watch this epic sporting spectacle as now your ticket is your visa. We can promise a line-up both on the track, onstage and amongst a breathtaking historical setting that will excite fans across the world. It is the perfect combination of live sport, entertainment, technology and culture all in the one place and all at the one time.

Felipe Massa in downtown Riyadh at the wheel of the Gen Formula E car to launch the 2018 Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E as we open the Kingdom to the world in a transformation that is being supercharged by the Vision 2030 plan, and driven forward by His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.”

At the launch ceremony His Royal Highness was joined by dignitaries from Saudia and a number of government entities working together to deliver the event, including the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation. From the racing world, Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag was joined by F1 legend turned Formula E star with the Venturi team Felipe Massa and Susie Wolff, Venturi team principal and shareholder. Massa and Wolff have also been named as Saudia brand ambassadors.

In preparation for the Formula E race, Saudi Arabia has worked with UNESCO to create the track from the historic city’s existing roads network, holding true to the sustainable nature of Formula E and minimizing noise pollution. The project has inspired infrastructure investment and conservation efforts around the archeological jewel, not only enhancing the site but proudly displaying it to the world.

Over three days throughout the Formula E weekend a series of cultural and entertainment events will be staged to ensure the race is memorable for fans, families and international tourists alike. Further details of an incredible global line-up will be announced in the coming weeks.

Felipe Massa lights up the tyres of a Gen2 Formula E car in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, to launch the inaugural Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix

His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal Al Saud, President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, said: “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.

“This single event has the potential to change lives and change perceptions, both of the sport and of Saudi Arabia. The seeds are already growing, the track is taking shape, all with the approval of UNESCO. It is progress and preservation in one. Today is groundbreaking in all senses.”

Saudi Arabian Airlines Director General, His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, added: “SAUDIA is pleased to be supporting the ABB FIA Formula E Championship for the upcoming event in Ad Diriyah – a first for Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. The airline welcomes fans from across the globe to come aboard, building on the historic SAUDIA transformation plan – SV2020 – with new focused initiatives seeing an upward trajectory to becoming one of the world’s leading airlines. We wish the teams all the very best for the race and a new era of electric racing – providing international exposure of the SAUDIA Ad Diriyah E-Prix.”

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship event is officially sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and its global safer driving campaign will be adopted and promoted.

Formula E joins sporting powerhouses such as WWE and European Tour Golf who have forged long-term partnerships with Saudi Arabia as it establishes its reputation as a destination for world class sports events.

Proposed circuit layout – subject to FIA homoligation


Vision 2030
Saudi Arabia is realizing an ambitious new future, one built on social, economic and technological development as part of its 2030 vision. Formula E comes to Saudi at a pivotal time as progress plans are being implemented. The transformation includes of a sustainable sports industry, one economic pillar which holds the keys to unlocking the country’s vast potential.

Saudi Arabia is unlocking the power of what’s possible by restoring its vibrant and tolerate society Celebrating creativity and innovation, giving people access to opportunities to realize their potential. The progress is exciting and real, public cinemas are open, driving is now open to all and tourism visas are to be granted.

The General Sports Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The General Sports Authority (GSA) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia uses the power of sport and active living to enhance the lives of all communities in the Kingdom and to benefit sports values worldwide.

As the country’s sport regulator, the GSA is an inspirational catalyst for change and believes in sports for all. The diverse and growing organization is enabling the country’s desire for a vibrant society by creating the widest access possible for all to sports sector opportunities.

The GSA is helping the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia realise its sporting ambition to become a global leader with a strong pathway from amateur to elite and is creating an environment for a sports industry to flourish as part of a thriving and sustainable sports economy.

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7 hrs ago

MotoGP

Throwing it back to the #Moto2 race of the #BritishGP 2012 🇬🇧

Enjoy the last laps battle for the 2nd place between Marquez and Redding! ⚔️

#MotoGP
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duel one on one in the final lap marquez lose .....

Imagine what would happen when he got a better bike

I was there.....Brilliant racing!!

Very drunk day but remember the race. Loved watching Scott race. All packed and ready for Silverstone Thursday morning.

Fantastic battle 👍

I was there, great finish. Home crowd went wild when Redding got back in front, then deadly silent when Marquez had a look up inside on last bend, then wild again when Redding cut back across. Amazing stuff!

Awesome pictures!

Un genio muy buenos

Amazing

Very nice

Very nice

All these guys are big talents. Many riders like Pol Espargaro, Alvaro Bautista, Bradley Smith, Antony West & many more are great riders and capable of winning championships ( capable ). People underestimate these guys by their bad results, but really..top material is key in these classes, especially in the MotoGp class. Give them a solid ride and they'll blow your mind

2019, #93 is the winner..😋🏁

special suter chassis for marc and mysterious team 😉 after marc step up to motogp, this team directly disappear, nobody know where are they now.

Redding never got the ride he deserved.

Nice to see Scott Redding giving him lesson <3 (y)

Just shows how good Redding was but never really got the bike to really take it to them in Motogp.

Man, I miss Scott Redding in the padock "let's get it babi"

Muy buena carrera no apta para cardíacos 🤭🤭🤭

Forget just how good Redding could have been with a decent bike

Nice

Nice to see maq battle for other place than 1st

Kaj mu je pa SCOTT REDDING naredil,šale in kape.😀

Bring back Redding

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9 hrs ago

MotoGP

The dramatic moment which cost Marc Márquez a shot at victory at Silverstone two years ago! 😱

The world champion's misfortune opened the door for Andrea Dovizioso to snatch the win! 💨

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
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Good Day all.

Unlikely to be repeated! Hope Dovi brings his A game though. 👍🏼👍🏼

Saya Mie Halim moh top fan sama sama

Gave the rest a chance

So what's new?? Sometimes these kind of technical failures happens in Motorsport... Very rare that engine blow sky high to premier class bike.

Fast forward >>>> he is the world champion!!

I love coming here and waiting for all the Yellow gob smokers.

I thought "the legend" was gonna win that day.. 😅

Was at this race, and that bike blowing up was almost as good as a Rossi win 😀

RAre footage for sure

Ah, I could watch that Honda blow up all day every day...

Alex Groenewold finger cross 😅👍.. voor komend weekend

#MM93 Come Back STRONGER! 💪💪💪😎👍👍👍

Wow

Wow

And finaly , the boss MM93 won the title one more time

Nothing can stop him not even a broken bike ! Simply the king of MotoGP !

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12 hrs ago

F1

Cue the celebrations, Bob! 🍾👏 ... See Less

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( •_•) ( >💎 oh! Preciosa insignia! /︶\

Must be an awesome feeling..I certainly Would love to work with f1 even if it was to clean a window.

Nice. Long time lots of great words over the years

Awesome to get behind the scenes!

I love the voice of that guy

Cheers to the great Bob!!!

Amazing. I remember this voice. Thanks.

More than 660 wow ! I mean that’s amazingly nice, being with the next generation sharing your experience & catching something new from them it’s a nice way. Good going Bob keep it up & don’t forget to change the baton when you still can... 👍

It’s nice to now be able to put a name/face to the voice. Keep up the good work Bob. 🎤 🔈

Bobs Brilliant we love Bob in our house 👍🏻

Love these little insights into the F1 community 👍

Amazing with the “carmen opera” music

Awesome to put the face to the voice.

Big respect for Bob cheers 🍾🍾

Hey I’m a top fan again, but it is really cool to put a face to the voice. I never really thought about it till I saw this

I now have proof of what he does when he goes away. He is my legend

I should celebrate with champagne too after being promoted to top fan for god knows what reason 😂

I always wondered who did the podium announcements and if it was done locally or in England. 👍

Finally we get to see the man! 🙌🏻

Thanks for the Top Fan position!

Never seen the man behind the legendary announcements !

Wait, what if he is the meow guy! 😆

Always wondered who did the podium announcements and now we can put a face to the voice

660 races and counting .....give Bob some champaaaaaaaagne!! 🍾🍾

The unsung hero of F1 😁😂🍾

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