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F1 2023

Saudi Arabia targets F1 teams to set up in Middle East

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix has brought attention to the Middle East, but the country's Automobile Club President believes the region can attract F1 team operations in the future.

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Saudi Arabia hopes to encourage Formula 1 teams to set up their teams in the Middle Eastern country to rival the 'motorsport valley' in the UK.

President of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Faisal, said that he wants to see their own version of the United Kingdom's motorsport hub in the country in the next 15 years.

"We want to create a hub," he explained in an interview with Motor Sport.

"We have big companies that can help the future of motorsport."

Saudi Arabia: Our aim is not to just host international events

After the initial success of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, the country is looking to create its own version of Silverstone for the future.

Both McLaren and Aston Martin have investors from Saudi Arabia, but Prince Khalid hopes they can go one step further and attract teams to base their HQ out of the country.

"This is what we are hoping for and this is what we are working for," he explained.

"Hopefully we can bring one of the big manufacturers.

“We have a 20-year programme that hopefully will launch at the end of 2023, early 2024. Our aim is not just to host international events, we want to be involved more.

"We want to have engineers, we want to have mechanics, we want to build cars, we want to be creative.

“We are investing a lot in infrastructures, in building tracks in Saudi Arabia. We want to build academies so we can be more involved – Saudi teams with Saudi drivers or other drivers to race in Saudi teams.

"It’s still a long way ahead but hopefully by 2030, 2035, 2040 we can achieve our goals.”

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