Saudi Arabia to host Race of Champions

F1 drivers will head to Saudi Arabia early next year for the annual Race of Champions.

Formula 1 drivers will head to Saudi Arabia early next year for the annual Race of Champions.

The Saudi capital of Riyadh will be a controversial choice of venue for the motor racing spectacular, with women only just having been given the freedom to drive.

Normally, sports events in the desert country are not even attended by women, but the government confirmed that "both genders" will be welcome at the "family event".

Race of Champions said in a statement that "driver announcements" will be made "shortly".

"With women able to drive in Saudi Arabia from 2018, we feel this is an auspicious moment to be bringing a motor sport event to Riyadh," said Race of Champions boss Fredrik Johnsson.

Pascal Wehrlein injured his back in a Race of Champions crash in Miami early this year.

Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP leads Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP into the first corner during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 10, 2015
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