Could Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri be forced to move to Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia own a stake in both McLaren and Aston Martin as motorsport continues to grow in the Middle East.

The influence of Formula 1 continues to expand in the Middle East, as races in the region have become a staple of the calendar in recent years.

The Bahrain Grand Prix will be joined by races in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Abu Dhabi in 2023, as the number of races in the Middle East continues to increase.

Having hosted a Grand Prix in the past two seasons, Saudi Arabi have now set their sights on a more ambitious F1 target, to relocate the headquarters of some teams to the Kingdom.

McLaren and Aston Martin are both partially owned by the Kingdom and it has been reported that these are the two teams in Saudi Arabia’s sights as they aim to ramp up their motorsport project.

READ: Helmut Marko hands Lewis Hamilton boost for 2023 title fight

The head of motorsport in Saudi Arabia has suggested that a copy of the UK’s motorsport valley could be created, with the Midlands and Oxfordshire region currently being the home of seven of the ten Formula 1 teams as well as thousands of suppliers.

When asked if teams could relocate to build a base in Saudi Arabia, Prince Khalid suggested that his is exactly what he plans to engineer.

“This is what we are hoping for and this is what we are working for. Hopefully we can bring one of the big manufacturers,” he said.

“We want to create a hub, we have big companies that can help the future of motorsport.

Article continues below

READ: Ex-Red Bull driver makes ‘it’s personal’ claim about Christian Horner

“With all the investing we are doing in cars – the private investment fund brought shares in McLaren and Aston Martin – we are heading that way.

“Hopefully we can open and bring headquarters to Saudi Arabia or we hire people that can help us manufacture cars or technology, to create our own brands and have our own IPs [intellectual property rights].”

McLaren were recently forced to sell a portion of their classic F1 car collection to the Bahrain private investment fund as the car manufacturer sought after a financial boost to fund their latest supercar project.

It is planned that a new state-of-the-art racetrack will be completed in the region in the coming years, as the Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia stands as a placeholder until the competition of the project.