Formula E racing has fired the starting gun for a huge month of sport for Saudi Arabia as the SAUDIA Diriyah E-Prix created amazing memories on and off the track.
The double header which marked the start of the FIA ABB Formula E Championship saw two days of dramatic Formula E racing on the Diriyah Circuit, making motorsport history with the biggest line-up of drivers and cars in the sports history.
Once again Formula E was linked to Saudi Arabia’s journey as it opens to world with incredible scenes at the post-race concerts with 40,000 fans on Friday enjoying performances from Imagine Dragons, DJ Alan Walker and Clean Bandit. While a further 40,000 enjoyed day two of the Formula E after race concerts featuring Latin American superstar Maluma, who was supported by Lebanese Canadian singer Massari.
Last year was described as a watershed moment with the first unsegregated concerts, this year that was nothing unusual.
However, Formula E this year wasn’t the end of the story, but the beginning with fans now looking forward to an epic month of sports, entertainment and more concerts as the Diriyah Season continues.
Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki AlFaisal Al Saud, Chairman of the General Sports Authority (GSA) of Saudi Arabia, said: “The SAUDIA Diriyah E-Prix has given us an epic start to the Diriyah Season. We’ve watched thrilling Formula E racing on the Diriyah Circuit watched by thousands of fans across two days. Add to that the incredible scenes we witnessed at last night’s after race concert with 40,000 fans flocking to watch the acts. Of course, we can expect more inspiring and exciting moments as the Diriyah Season unfolds.”
For fans their Formula E race experience at the Diriyah Circuit had proved to be a memorable experience.
“I came here for both days and it’s been such a great time with the race, the e-village and the concerts. It’s like I don’t recognize Riyadh anymore,” said Wasayef Ahmad, a 27-year-old Saudi.
Khalid Amri, a 24-year-old Saudi medical student, said: “I’m not a motorsports enthusiast but I felt very engaged with the race and the Formula E village especially. The vibe is so lively and it’s great to see people in such a happy mood, it’s contagious.”
On the track fans witnessed two days of dramatic racing which saw Envision Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird claim victory on day one, only to crash out on day two. Today, on part two of the double header, fellow Briton, Alexander Sims stormed to his first win in Formula E after a race packed with incidents.
After his weekend of emotional highs and lows, Sam Bird hailed the impact that the Kingdom’s partnership with Formula E was having.
He said: “The whole setup that is here, the race, the concerts is great for Saudi Arabia as a whole, integrating sport with integrating male and female presence at a concert, breaking boundaries in many ways. Formula E also brings new technologies and concepts to Saudi Arabia both on and off the circuit.
“The atmosphere was great. I love the track it is great to drive. The section between turns six and 14 is one of the best in Formula E. I really enjoy coming here, everyone is very friendly, very welcoming. I look forward to coming back next year.”
Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal Al Saud, President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation said: “The Diriyah Circuit has been hailed by the Formula E drivers as one of their favourites and it is easy to see why after two days of exciting racing. My thanks to all of the competitors and congratulations to both winners Simon Bird and Alexander Sims. I can’t wait until Formula E is back in the Kingdom.”
The Diriyah Season of sport continues next with the Clash On The Dunes, a World Heavyweight Title fight between World Champion Andy Ruiz II and Anthony Joshua at the purpose-built Diriyah Arena on December 7. That’s followed by the Diriyah Tennis Cup featuring eight of the best men’s players on the planet, and the Diriyah Equestrian Festival, an elite competition with Tokyo Olympics 2020 qualifying points on the line.
And the Diriyah Music Festival continues on November 29, as Saudi Arabia welcomes back ‘Mr Worldwide’ himself as Pitbull headlines the stage, supported by reggae legend Shaggy and Don Omar. Then on November 30, rap stars Lil Wayne, Tyga and Future perform, with DJ Scott Forshaw playing both nights. Tickets for all of Diriyah Season’s spectacular events, concerts and entertainment will be available at www.diriyahseason.sa. Follow Diriyah Season’s news and announcements on the official social media pages on twitter and Instagram @diriyahseason.