Plans for F1 teams to move headquarters to Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia wants to bring Formula 1 racing teams to the region, with the goal of McLaren and Aston Martin moving their headquarters to the kingdom.

Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al-Faisal, president of the Saudi Automobile and Motor Federation, reportedly wants to compete with Britain by becoming a major motor racing center and hosting some of the best F1 teams. Currently, Britain is home to seven of the 10 F1 teams.

“We have big companies that can help the future of motorsport,” he told Motorsport.

When asked if he would see an F1 team move to the Middle East, he replied: “This is what we hope for and what we work for.”

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“With all the investments we’re making in cars – the private investment fund bought shares in McLaren and Aston Martin – we’re moving in that direction. Hopefully we can open and take the headquarters to Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), currently holds stakes in the parent organizations of both McLaren and Aston Martin. The PIF is the second largest stakeholder in road car manufacturer Aston Martin.

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The report added that Saudi Arabia’s futuristic smart city Neom, the flagship project of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision2030, is said to be the site of the motorsport hub, including the “Oxagon” campus where McLaren, as one of the founders would have office.

“Hopefully we can open the headquarters and bring it to Saudi Arabia or we hire people who can help us make cars or technology, create our own brands and have our own IPs. [intellectual property rights]”, said the prince.

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“We have a 20-year program that will hopefully start in late ’23, early ’24.”

“Our goal is not just to organize international events, we want to be more involved. We want to have engineers, we want to have mechanics, we want to build cars, we want to be creative.”

Saudi Arabia already has a long-term deal to host a Grand Prix in Jeddah, along with the Forumla E and Extreme E races, while MotoGP could debut in the kingdom next year. The country is also hosting the Dakar Rally event this year, the fourth to be held there.