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Formula E season-opener in Saudi Arabia was never in doubt of taking place

Starting grid of the 2019 Diriyah E-Prix. Credits: Formula E.

According to the organizers of the Saudi Arabia E-Prix, the race was never in danger due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There, the Formula E season begins on 26th and 27th February with a double-header. But now Formula E fans have been fearing for the season opener in the desert as COVID-19 cases have risen in the country and the British mutation of the virus has spread as far as Saudi Arabia. The country has responded by restricting entry for 20 countries, including Great Britain. As most of the team and championship staff are based and reside in the 20 countries, staff travelling to the event have been granted a special exemption to enter Saudi Arabia.

Carlo Boutagy, founder of the Diriyah E-Prix promoter, told Motorsport.com:

“The race has always been scheduled to happen on the 26th and 27th February from the beginning of the calendar. We have not been thinking or talking about postponing or cancelling this race. It’s not even in our thoughts right now. The races will happen, I can assure you of that.”

He also added:

“We’re working very closely with the local authorities, the Kingdom, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sport to make sure all the right measures are put in place. We are very lucky because Formula E has done already two events with a 100% success rate in Valencia with the testing and in Berlin, they did six races. We’re taking all that knowledge and learnings from these two events that were done in Europe and bringing them to the Kingdom. The Kingdom has done a fantastic job of keeping cases very low throughout the past year.”

The plan is that 4000 to 5000 fans will be allowed to come to the race weekend. More details are yet to be announced.

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