The first ever Formula E race has begun in Saudi Arabia, on Thursday where 22 drivers from around the world battled for victory.
The Formula E Ad Diriyah e-Prix is the first where international tourists can take advantage of a new online visa portal to gain entry to the kingdom without a sponsor. Formula E is similar to Formula One but with one key difference – it features all electric cars instead of screaming race-car engines.
The delegates including media people from across the globe attended the event. A media team from Pakistan is also in Riyadh to cover the event.
The first ever Formula E race begins in Saudi Arabia the championship sees 11 teams and 22 drivers from around the world compete across 12 different cities over seven months. The Saudi race is taking place in the ancient historical city of Ad Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage site that was the first seat of power for Saudi kings, outside Riyadh.
The track itself is 2.847km long and has 21 corners. These include long flowing corners and high speed turns but very few 90-degree turns.The first ever Formula E race begins in Saudi Arabia “First all we have the main straight, to have the opportunity of overtaking at the end of the straight,” said ex Formula One driver Felipe Massa at the track’s unveiling.
Saudi Arabian Airlines has been named the official sponsor of the race and will eventually become the official airline partner of the championship series. Alongside the main event, race fans can watch the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, the world’s first international championship for production-based electric cars.
This will be the first time women compete against men in a race in Saudi Arabia, with 11 drivers competing for the trophy from 12:50pm ahead of the main ABB FIA Formula E race.
Other items on the agenda include the ‘Live in Ad Diriyah’ concerts with six popular artists. These include Enrique Iglesias and Jason Derulo on Thursday, December 13, The Black eyed peas and Amr Diab on Friday, December 14 and a big performance from David Guetta and One Republic after the race has finished on Saturday, December 15.
On Thursday, the Formula E event site opened from 4:00pm, on Friday from 2:00pm and on the race day it will be open from 10:00am.
This gave visitors plenty of time to enjoy the event and attend various activities they have on offer. Race fans can visit the 180,000sqm Allianz E-village to attend the podium ceremony and autograph sessions with the drivers. The organizers have arranged shuttle buses and parking for the event.
Services to Ad Diriyah will start 3:00pm on Thursday, 1:00pm on Friday and 9:00am on Saturday.