The Formula E It will kick off its 2021 season with a double round at the Diriyah street circuit scheduled for February 26-27, marking the first night races of the championship.
But as of last week, the Ministry of the Interior of Saudi Arabia suspended all entry into the nation for arrivals coming from a list of 20 countries, including the UK, France and Germany.
This was introduced in response to the rapid spread of the new strain of COVID-19 detected in the UK late last year.
Positive cases in Saudi Arabia have risen above 300 per day, having registered a low of 82 on January 3, 2021.
With the majority of FE team and championship personnel based in countries included in the banned countries list. staff traveling to the event have received a special exemption to enter the Kingdom.
Carlo Boutagy, founder of the CBX racing promoter, in charge of Formula E competitions in that country, told Motorsport.com that despite the increased restrictions, the event was never in doubt.
“The race has always been scheduled to be held on February 26 and 27 from the start of the calendar.”
“We have not been thinking or talking about postponing or canceling this race.”
“It’s not even in our thoughts at the moment. The races will happen, I can assure you.”
The most notable concessions have been made in regards to fan attendance, with capacity limited to between four and 5000 people in the audience.
Boutagy added that the FE example, by holding six races in Berlin last season, in addition to the pre-season testing that took place at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, paved the way for Saudi Arabia to remain on the calendar.
“We are very lucky because Formula E has already done two events with a 100% success rate in Valencia and six races were held in Berlin.”
“We are taking all that knowledge and learning from these two events that took place in Europe and bringing them to Arabia.”
“Our goal is to do an event with fans, but the health and well-being of the people who work is the priority for all of us: the government and Formula E”.