Saudi Arabian Grand Prix talks progress with Qiddiyah Circuit unveiled
Saudi Arabia officially unveil plans for a new race track that could host a Formula One Grand Prix in 2023.
Formula One has come under fire in recent years for seemingly ignoring human rights issues in the middle east and, specifically Bahrain. Formula E have raced in Saudi Arabia for the past two years and have be criticised similarly.
The new Qiddiyah circuit, designed by former driver Alex Wurz, will form a part of a new entertainment and sports complexoutside the capital of Riyadh.
"We're building a facility in the hope there will be a deal struck and there is a race here in Saudi," CEO Mike Reininger told the BBC.
"The formalisation of a race is not for us at Qiddiyah It is outside the confines of the project itself. But we are building a facility that will be able to host a really world-class event as one of the signature items we will have on offer here at Qiddiyah as we open in 2023."
Stating that hosting a Formula One Grand Prix is a target rather than the main objective, Reininger added, "We are actually building a series of facilities both on-circuit and off-road in one aggregated place which really hasn't been assembled anywhere else in the world like this. The centrepiece for us is going to be the Grade One circuit."
Circuit designer Wurz says that he has put fans and drivers at the forefront of his designs.
Wurz, the 45-year-old former Benetton, McLaren and Williams driver, two-time Le Mans winner and chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, is the track designer and a consultant on the project.
"The design offers amazing elevation changes, making use of the stunning natural landscape," said Wurz. "Equally, it is made to challenge drivers and engineers alike. And, from our simulation runs, I can assure you it is absolutely thrilling as an on- and off-track experience."
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