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Saudi Arabia 'wants to play a big role in the future of sport'

Saudi Arabia 'wants to play a big role in the future of sport'

20 February - 14:11 Last update: 17:47


The head of Saudi Arabia's motorsport body is keen to see Formula One expanded even further in the Gulf state. Quoted by Motorsportweek.com indicates Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal would like to see a Saudi team on the grid, among other things.

Formula 1 has expanded enormously in the Middle East in recent years. As many as four countries in that region have a Grand Prix scheduled next season. Saudi Arabia is among them, but that is not the only way the country is involved in the sport: state-owned Aramco is a business partner of Formula 1, and some time ago reports even surfaced that the country would have made a bid for the entire sport.

'We want a Saudi champion'

Once upon a time, Saudi Arabia was the first Middle Eastern country to get involved in Formula 1: state-owned Saudi Air sponsored the Williams team in 1978. " This history has led to us hosting our own race now ," explains Prince Al-Faisal. "Maybe one day it will lead to us having our own team. We started with a sponsorship deal and now we have to look at the next step, and that is a partnership or shared ownership [of a team]."

And the prince makes it clear that as far as he is concerned, it doesn't have to end there either. "We would also like to have a Saudi champion, a driver capable of winning an international competition. We are very enthusiastic about motorsport and have big plans. We would like to have a big role in the future of the sport."

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