The organizers of the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix have made it known that they want to host the first race of the 2024 F1 season. Moreover, it has also been confirmed that if Jeddah misses out on the first race for next year, then it would ideally like to get a slot that is towards the back end of the F1 calendar.
While Jeddah seems to be in the running for hosting the first race in 2024, it has come out that it became a candidate late last year. During the 2022 campaign, organizers of the Saudi Arabian GP requested the top officials of the Australian GP to host the first race because of Ramadan. As per next year’s calendar, the Islamic month of fasting will take place from March 11 to April 10.
Prince Khalid bin Al Faisal, chairman of the Saudi Automobile & Motorcycle Federation (SAMF), recently shed light on everything that has been going on regarding the 2024 calendar, and said, “It’s still too early, when asked about how firmed up the plans were for Saudi Arabia to have the first race.”
“We would love to have the opening race, and I’m sure this is something that we should discuss now before the announcement of the calendar. We want to see the teams’ feedback because we want what’s best for FOM, and what’s best for the teams. If it’s the best solution, we would love to have the opening race, but nothing is set now.” It seems that Saudi Arabia would welcome the chance to host the first race of the 2024 F1 season with both hands. However, he has also stressed that the organizers would favor whatever the final decision is. They also want what is best for all the teams and the drivers.
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Saudi Arabia to remain on the F1 calendar until 2027
While Saudi Arabia has garnered a lot of talk about its prospects for hosting the first race next year, the Country has also secured its long-term future as far as F1 is concerned. The Jeddah Corniche circuit will remain on the sport’s calendar until 2027. It was earlier planned that Jeddah was a short-term fix, as the organizers wanted to shift the race to Qiddiya.
However, the work at the circuit has been progressing at a slower pace, and thus, the higher-ups have preferred to keep the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jehhad until 2027. While talking about it, Al Faisal said, “Things change in these big projects and we can’t just build a track and be surrounded by construction sites, as part of the circuit is going inside the city.“
“We want to go there when the city is completed. This will take longer than we expected because we are now redoing the master plan, and we think that we will go there in 2027 or 2028.” The Prince has made it known that Jeddah will host the Saudi GP until 2027, and after that, if the work is complete in Qiddiya, then they will move the event.
During all that is in the future, the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP weekend has got underway. Last year’s race brought a lot of crashes and nerve-wracking action, and keeping that into view, what could this year’s event have in store for the fans who be tuning in from all over the World? Would Max Verstappen again come out on top, or would any of the other drivers be able to get the better of the Dutchman?
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