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The 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E season kicked off in Saudi Arabia in the historical town of Ad Diriyah, located on the outskirts of the Kingdom’s capital city, Riyadh.

As the original home to the Saudi royal family, Ad Diriyah is also a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s steeped in cultural history. But even more recently, the ancient town made modern-day history as the first venue where Formula E’s Gen 2 cars made their racing debut.

The 2.496 km temporary street circuit offers 21 turns that already has a reputation for being one of the most challenging tracks in the all-electric championship. The track features plenty of undulating areas and narrow sections while, the dusty conditions of the Arabian desert also adds an extra challenge for the teams and drivers.

The new Attack Mode also made its debut on this circuit with the activation zone located on the long straight between turns 17 and 18. BMW i Andretti’s Antonio Felix da Costa was crowned the first ever race winner, while Techeetah’s Andre Lotterer posted the fastest lap time at 1:12.591.

ABB FIA Formula E’s official support series, the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy also took place on the same circuit during the Formula E race weekend and will be a regular pre-race fixture during most of the rounds in season 5. Ad Diriyah also the venue for the 2018/19 first in-season test a day after the race featuring a line-up of prominent drivers.

Although the decision to host a Formula E race in Saudi Arabia was met with controversy when it was first announced, the Kingdom has agreed on a ten-year deal with to host a round of the championship in the country. The deal was secured under Saudi Arabia’s 2030 plan that aims to boost the Kingdom’s status in aspects such as sports and tourism.

The Riyadh Street Circuit is only used once per year for Formula E.

The 2018 Ad Diriyah ePrix was held on December 15. The 2019 edition of the race has not yet been confirmed.

Coming soon.

Click here to browse all accommodation in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Map courtesy Formula E.