Saudi Arabia wants earlier calendar spot: "Often it's already been decided"

26-07-2021 16:38 | Updated: 26-07-2021 17:21
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Saudi Arabia wants earlier calendar spot: Often it's already been decided

Although the new Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, to be held in Jeddah this year, is late on the calendar, those organising the race prefer to look for a race at the start of the Formula One season. This year the race is scheduled for December 5, a week before the season finale in Abu Dhabi. As the current COVID situation makes an opening race in Australia in 2022 unlikely, it could be that we kick off 2022 in the Middle East again, with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Earlier in the season

The promoter of the Saudi Grand Prix and president of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Faisal, would rather see a race earlier in the year. "For us as a promoter, we prefer not to be the last race. A few teams can do very well at the beginning of the season and then the last races are not so interesting anymore," he is referring to the fact that the championship is often decided well before Abu Dhabi.

"We wanted to have a race at the beginning [of the season], but in the time we had to do the work for the track and prepare the track, we couldn't have a race in 2021 at the beginning of the year. Our options were to have a race at the end of 2021, or [wait to have] an early race in 2022. Our decision was that we wanted the race in 2021," Khalid Bin Sultan Al Faisal told Autosport.com.

Saudi Sprint Race?

Furthermore, people in Saudi Arabia would also like to see the event have a sprint race. "I think it's good. You get to see more racing, more action on Saturday. We would like to be one of the countries that had the sprint race. The decision is now with F1 and we will see. Will it be another country, with three countries in Europe, or will the Middle East be one of them? I would love to see it in Saudi Arabia."

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