City Guide: The Deserts of Diriyah

Learn about the unique home of the Diriyah E-Prix on the eve of Season 7...

UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Diriyah E-Prix has been a regular feature on the Formula E calendar since 2018, however, the history of the Saudi Arabian town stretches back much further than the past three years.

Located North-West of Riyadh, Diriyah was founded in the 15th century and until 1818, was the home of the Saudi royal family who used the settlement as their first capital.

Featuring distinctive mud-brick architecture in a landscape that is littered with palaces, Diriyah is recognised globally for its cultural value. It is one of the most iconic locations in Formula E.

In 2010, the town’s Turaif district was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a status that perhaps makes Diriyah the most unique temporary racing circuit in the world.

With only three days remaining until we make history in this incredible environment, we’re ready to ROKiT when the lights go out.

Racing Into The Night

As Formula E’s inaugural race as an FIA-sanctioned World Championship, the 2021 Diriyah E-Prix will be remembered as a historic race but not only for one reason.

With the help of 597 low-consumption LED lights, the Season 7 opener will also mark Formula E’s first-ever night race which is also a significant moment for the series.

Sustainability remains the utmost priority and with the help of this latest lighting technology, energy consumption will be reduced by up to 50% in comparison to non-LED solutions.

In short, Formula E’s mission remains at the heart of the event and the double-header opener in the desert is one not to be missed.

Corners Galore

As one of Formula E’s founding teams, we’ve been on the grid since Day 1 here at ROKiT Venturi Racing and as such, we’ve contested every E-Prix and driven on every circuit to date.

Of the 22 cities we’ve visited, however, few are able to match the intensity of Diriyah and with 21 corners, the Riyadh Street Circuit is the most technical track on the Season 7 calendar.

Such a challenge demands a calculated approach and from the downhill descent of Turns 5-13 to the heavy braking zone of Turn 18, precision and focus is needed.

Since 2014, only two other circuits have featured such a high number of corners and just as we were primed for the challenge of Punta del Este and Rome, we’re ready for Riyadh.

The Scene of Street Racing

Despite still being a relatively young fixture on the Formula E calendar, racing in Diriyah is a familiar affair and since 2018, we have heard the phrase ‘and we go green’ on three occasions.

With another double-header event scheduled this weekend, by the end of the month we will have contested a total of five E-Prix on the Riyadh Street Circuit.

This will make Diriyah the third most raced on street circuit in Formula E, with only Berlin and New York City ranking higher.