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Saudi Arabia open to possibility of hosting two F1 races in 'near future'

The possibility of the country hosting two Formula 1 races in the future has opened up in the 'near future' according to local organisers.

The possibility of Saudi Arabia hosting two Formula 1 races in the 'near future' could happen according to local organisers. F1 returns to the kingdom for a third year at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, following its debut in 2021. But there are plans for another track to be built in the 'entertainment city' of Qiddiya near capital Riyadh, which could be ready by 2027. Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation chairman, Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Abdullah Al Faisal, did not rule out a second race when asked by RacingNews365.com . "Saudi Arabia is a very big market and we have a strong economy. So the idea of having two races in Saudi is doable," said Prince Khalid. "F1 is growing and there's a lot of demand here. Because Saudi is big and the regions are so far away, it's like the [United] States where you have three races because the market is big there and there's a demand."

Qiddiya facility taking 'longer than expected'

Jeddah was meant to be a holding facility while a hybrid permanent and part-street track in Qiddiya is built, which will be homologated to host both F1 and MotoGP races in the future. However the plans to move to the new circuit will take "longer than expected" due to the developments in the area according to Prince Khalid. "There's going to be hotels, they're going to be parks, there's going to be a lot of things. So we can't just finish the track and we move to a race in Qiddiya and it's a construction site. "We want to go there when the project and the city is completely completed. So this will take longer than we expected." He continued: "The decision is not made, there's other things that we need to consider and even if we wanted to host two races here, will it be practical and feasible for FOM and the teams? "But we built this track [Jeddah] to last. So in theory, yes, we can have two races. But I will not be surprised if in the near future Saudi hosts two races."

Saudi could host next year's season opener

Saudi Arabia could be the F1 season opener in 2024 instead of Bahrain due to the start of Ramadan, which falls close to the start of the calendar. "It's either going to be Saudi or Bahrain that can have a race before Ramadan," said Prince Khalid. "After Ramadan, the weather in April and May is hot. So March is the last time where the weather is suitable. "Otherwise, it will shift to October or after October when the weather starts to get better."

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