Formula E attracts backing from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund

Formula E

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Formula E and two other electric motorsport series have gained backing from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

The Middle Eastern country is investing heavily in sports, having attracted many players to its growing football league and spent heavily on a takeover of the Professional Golfers’ Association.

It already has extensive ties to motor racing. Formula E first raced in the country in 2018, three years before Formula 1 followed. Aramco, the state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Group, sponsors F1 and the Aston Martin team. The Dakar rally moved to Saudi Arabia in 2020.

Now the Saudi Arabian PIF has agreed a multi-year deal with Formula E, offroad electric series Extreme E and electric powerboat championship E1. The three series will be promoted under the new brand Electric 360.

Formula E founder Alejandro Agag called the deal “a huge milestone for us in our journey to pioneer the most cutting-edge sustainable transport technology.”

“PIF will not only play a strategic role in helping us leverage our unique technological platforms, but also foster global collaboration, education and skills development for the next generation worldwide.”

FE was founded in 2014 and counts Porsche, Jaguar, Nissan, DS, McLaren and Maserati among its competitors. The FIA bestowed world championship status on it in 2020. The second and third races in its current series will take place on the streets of Diriyah in Saudi Arabia this weekend.

Mohamed AlSayyad, the head of corporate branding at PIF, said the deal with the three series “will enhance the quality of life for people, provide opportunities for the communities we serve, and help continue our work as a catalyst for transformation.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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12 comments on “Formula E attracts backing from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund”

  1. I don’t think the irony needs to be stated here…

    1. Coventry Climax
      22nd January 2024, 23:09

      + 50

  2. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    22nd January 2024, 23:18

    This is becoming quite the epidemic.

  3. Whitewashing Saudi government policy through more sports funding. And there’s always someone EU,UK,USA sports organization willing to shovel the money into their coffers.

  4. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
    23rd January 2024, 8:33

    I don’t blame Saudi for trying it on, however I am disgusted Formula E would accept this money. The hypocrisy is staggering.

    1. I’m surprised that you’re surprised that FE accepted the money. Alejandro Agag is indeed a very “experienced politician”…

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        23rd January 2024, 15:37

        I didn’t say surprised, I said disgusted, but I am surprised more people aren’t disgusted.

  5. For those who think it is strange that PIF is investing in an electric racing series…

    1. I think we’re all well familiar with SA’s sportswashing efforts that it takes little imagination to see why they’re investing here and everywhere that’ll have their paycheck.

      1. As usual with the Saudis they don’t seem to know when to stop. Up to a point it is tolerable, but it is beyond that now. And its not as if their population are avid sports attendies (see the fate of their football buys) to events either. It is a clear as day that they have lots of money to spend, there is very little public questioning of how those funds are spent or mispent, so everything that can go does.

  6. How hard is it to NOT take the bag?

  7. I thought the west wanted nothing to do with Saudi Arabia after the head of state ordered the murder and mutilation of a journalist in Turkey because he was critical of the regime. Even if the lack of principles is ignored, Formula E looks stupid for taking money from the biggest petrostate. The only winner here is Saudi Arabia who gets to trade all that oil money for a better reputation. Bring back the cigarette sponsorship it’s much less dirty than this.

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