The influence of the Middle East in Formula 1 is continuing to grow year after year, with teams and races being lured to the region in recent years.
This season there will be races in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, meaning there will be four Grand Prix in the region for the first time.
Saudi Arabia have not been shy in outlining their plans and project for Formula 1, telling the world media that they aim to have a homegrown driver in the sport as part of their 20-year plan.
They have also explained that they are trying to lure Aston Martin and McLaren, two teams which they partially own, over to Saudi Arabia to set up their headquarters in the Middle East.
With the Middle East becoming an important part of Formula 1, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund has now reportedly tabled an audacious bid to purchase the Formula One Group from current owners Liberty Media.
With the American based company only taking charge of the sport back in 2017 it is highly unlikely that they will be tempted by Saudi Arabia’s bid, which reportedly totals and eye-watering $20bn.
Alongside the growth in the Middle East, Liberty Media’s ownership has also seen Formula 1 grow at a phenomenal rate in the United States, with the race at the Circuit of the Americas last season shattering the previous attendance record.
There will be races in Las Vegas, Miami and Austin this year, suggesting that Formula 1 is not becoming more Middle East focused, it is simply becoming more worldwide.
It seems that this region of the world are looking to become a powerhouse in worldwide sport, not just Formula 1, as money is being pumped into multiple sporting projects in the Middle East.
Qatar recently hosted a very controversial but ultimately successful FIFA World Cup, while Saudi Arabian team Al Nassr have just completed the signing of football legend Cristiano Ronaldo on huge wages.
Bloomberg have reported that there is little chance that Formula 1 switches to Saudi ownership in the coming years, but with the project becoming ever more impress, it could be a matter of time until the region claims a stake in the sport.