Middle East

Ferrari Motorsport Festival in Riyadh puts Saudi Arabia ‘on the map’ for motorsports and car events 


RIYADH: The Ferrari Motorsport Festival kicked off on Friday with a two-day event bringing awesome displays of racing cars, professional Formula One drivers, and epic spectacles to the fans.

In the Kingdom for the second time, the Ferrari Motorsport Festival comes as a send-off to the 10-day car show held in Riyadh, which saw more than 600 exotic and rare automobiles in one venue — earning it the the title of the biggest car show in the region.

“This has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life,” said Abdulaziz Khashoggi, founder of automotive lifestyle company Superior Automotive. “Saudi Arabia is coming up in an unbelievable way, the king and crown prince have put Saudi on the map in terms of motorsports and car events.”

One of the special attractions at the event was the Ferrari Owners Club, started by Jeddah-born Yassir Kamil Sindi, with participants invited to a display of almost 100 prancing horses. The club’s drivers took to a floodlit track at the venue, revving their engines and taking laps as onlookers cheered and whistled for more.

“As you can see and hear behind me, every single Ferrari you can imagine is flying by on the track, it’s a symphony, it’s an orchestra, it’s the most incredible thing ever,” Khashoggi declared. 

Part of the schedule included some extreme cars such as the Ferrari 599 XX, FXX, and FXX K, which were homologated for racing solely on track and are not considered street legal. 

With their V12 engines roaring through the venue, visitors at the event could not get enough.

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“One my favorite things was watching the cars go around the circuit, it was beautiful,” said Tiezheng Bu, an aeroplane YouTuber. “Because it’s wide-open, the acoustics in here are amazing and it was an almost blessed experience. 

“I even took a selfie with Mick Schumacher — this place is full of pleasant surprises,” he added.

Formula One fans were shocked by the appearance of Haas Formula One driver Mick Schumacher, son of legendary driver Michael Schumacher, who won five out of his record seven championships with Ferrari between 2000-2004.

Also attending the event was Ferrari’s exhibit of a 2017 Formula One car, driven by celebrated professional Formula One drivers Sebastien Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, an iconic duo that gained Ferrari second place in the constructor’s championship that year. The car was named Ferrari SF70H to mark Ferrari’s 70th anniversary as an automotive manufacturer.

All this comes in an addition to a big showroom that has some of the most sought-after Ferraris on display, including the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, Roma, F8 Spider, 812 GTS and many more rare automobiles from the Italian manufacturer that left visitors marveling at their beauty.

From Dec. 3 to 5, Jeddah will host Saudi Arabia’s inaugural Formula One Grand Prix, as the penultimate race of the 2021 season, with fans eagerly anticipating the culmination of an epic competition to discover who will take the crown: Seven-time  world champion Mercedes-AMG driver Lewis Hamilton, or up-and-comer Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen.

“Jeddah’s my hometown and I cannot wait to see the Formula One cars drive on the corniche road by the Red Sea where I  used to drive before construction began — that is something I’ve been waiting my whole life to see,” said one fan.

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