Formula E Championship launches in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah

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The ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2019/20 season launched on Friday in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah, with British driver Simon Bird winning the first points of the tournament.

Bird, who was representing the Envision Virgin Racing Formula E Team, topped the timings in qualifying. André Lotterer came second for Porsche.

The day began with two practice sessions, followed by a qualifying race before the main E-Prix. The teams had previously come to Saudi Arabia for a test race.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was present at the event, where he met with organizers and toured the grounds.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at ABB Formula E (SPA Twitter)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at ABB Formula E (SPA Twitter)

Formula E is a motorsport tournament akin to Formula 1, but which uses only electric cars. Now in its sixth year, the initial tournament was held in Beijing in 2014.

Saudi Arabia is exploring electric cars as it seeks to diversify the economy under its ambitious Vision 2030 reform plan. ABB, which sponsors the Formula E event, announced on Friday that it had installed the Kingdom's first electric vehicle (EV) charger in Riyadh.

On the same day, a futuristic electric car known as “Car 2030” was unveiled by Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) Turki Al-Sheikh at the Riyadh Car Show in Janadriyah, near Riyadh.

CAR 2030 - GEA twitter account
CAR 2030 - GEA twitter account
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