Formula 1's global director of race promotion Chloe Targett-Adams has revealed Saudi Arabia has a guaranteed place on the calendar for at least the next 10 years.
Saudi Arabia will host its first race in November as part of a season-ending double-header in the Middle East, with Abu Dhabi hosting the now traditional curtain-closer.
The night event is to be staged in the port city of Jeddah, along the banks of the Red Sea and the city's corniche. It is anticipated that from 2023 onwards the race will take place at a permanent facility in Qiddiya.
Although F1 has been criticised for visiting Saudi Arabia due its abysmal human rights record, and for its attempts at 'sportwashing' as other high-profile events have taken place in the country in the past, Targett-Adams has confirmed it has a long-term future.
"It was phenomenal to get that deal agreed, signed and announced during the pandemic," said Targett-Adams, speaking at the BlackBook Motorsport Virtual Summit.
"It's somewhere we are really excited about going racing, and it's a longer-term vision of how we want to build our sport in the Middle East.
"We've already got two amazing partners in the Middle East on the promotion side with Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, both long-term relationships, incredibly successful.
"So to bring on a new Middle Eastern race in a location like Saudi, with a hugely young demographic, a vast population, interest in motorsport and the automotive sector, and the ability then as a market to tap into that northern Africa front and other aspects of the Middle East provides a really interesting framework for Formula 1.
"We've the first race this year in Jeddah on a temporary street circuit which is coming into shape already, which is no easy feat during a pandemic.
"The team in Saudi are doing a phenomenal job in doing that, so really looking forward to racing there and just launching Formula 1 in a new market because that's always an exciting time."
Asked as to how long F1 would be racing in Saudi Arabia as a minimum, Targett-Adams replied: "We're looking at definitely a decade, if not longer.
"It's important when you go into such a key new market as Saudi, you really need to be able to invest.
"Saudi, given their 2030 vision, what they are looking to achieve, their objectives, that longer-term investment made sense for how they want to build Formula 1 and motorsport interests within the country.
"If you look at some of the initiatives that the country is doing currently, it's an educational process on both sides.
"But it's a fascinating country, with its culture, and how we relate to that is an area we are looking forward to."
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