Saudi Arabia has revealed plans to build a new trace track that would be ready to host Formula 1 from 2023.

With talk of a potential race in the Gulf state ramping up in recent months, Saudi Arabia unveiled detailed plans for a major new entertainment and commercial complex in Qiddiya that would include a new circuit.

The development project is located about 30 miles from the capital Riyadh - which hosts a Formula E round. The circuit has been designed by former F1 driver Alex Wurz and meets the FIA's Grade 1 standards required to host grand prix racing.

"We're building a facility in the hope there will be a deal struck and there is a race here in Saudi," CEO Mike Reininger told BBC Sport.

"The formalisation of a race is not for us at Qiddiya. It is outside the confines of the project itself. But we are building a facility that will be able to host a really world-class event as one of the signature items we will have on offer here at Qiddiya as we open in 2023.

"We are actually building a series of facilities both on-circuit and off-road in one aggregated place which really hasn't been assembled anywhere else in the world like this. The centrepiece for us is going to be the Grade 1 circuit.”

The track, which is set to be build against a mountain-range backdrop, was demonstrated on a simulator during an event hosted in Saudi Arabia on Friday. 1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill, Nico Hulkenberg and Haas driver Romain Grosjean were among the invited guests. 

F1 is expected to land around $50million a year in hosting fees from the deal, though the event would not be without controversy given the country’s poor human rights record.

Speaking about the circuit design, Ex-McLaren, Williams and Benetton driver Wurz said: "It's a privilege of a lifetime to design the motion and mobility zone in Qiddiya, including the Speedpark track.

“The project offers us amazing opportunities to design a track, a true racing arena for the drivers and spectators.

"The design offers amazing elevation changes, making use of the stunning natural landscape. Equally, it is made to challenge drivers and engineers alike.

“From our simulation runs, I can assure you it is absolutely thrilling as an on- and off-track experience."

 

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