Formula 1 has confirmed Saudi Arabia will join the calendar in 2021 with a night race in the port city of Jeddah.
Teams had been informed of plans to include Saudi Arabia on the calendar in recent weeks but on Thursday F1 officially announced its position on the calendar.
The race will take place along the banks of the Red Sea along Jeddah’s corniche with the grand prix providing the centrepiece to a weekend of "live motorsport, entertainment and culture".
“We are excited to welcome Saudi Arabia to Formula 1 for the 2021 season and welcome their announcement following speculation in recent days,” said outgoing F1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey.
“Saudi Arabia is a country that is rapidly becoming a hub for sports and entertainment with many major events taking place there in recent years and we are very pleased that Formula 1 will be racing there from next season.
“The region is hugely important to us and with 70% of the population of Saudi being under 30 we are excited about the potential to reach new fans and bring our existing fans around the world exciting racing from an incredible and historic location. We will be publishing our full provisional 2021 calendar in the coming weeks and this will be submitted to the World Motor Sport Council for approval.”
The final circuit design is yet to be revealed but the street layout is viewed as a temporary home before the race moves to a new purpose built-facility in the future.
HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan al Faisal, the President of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation labelled the announcment as "truly game-changing.
“I firmly believe the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be the biggest sports event hosted in our country’s history and has the potential to change lives, perceptions and reach new audiences and communities like never before.
"To have the icons of the sport and historic teams race in Saudi in front of young fans and families is truly game-changing.
“We don't have a rich motorsport heritage, but in a short space of time as a federation we’ve earned a strong reputation of delivering world-class international events such as Formula E and the Dakar Rally."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.