until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

F1/FIA have ‘full and detailed assurances’ Saudi GP is safe

by Matt Beer
2 min read

Formula 1 drivers and teams received “full and detailed assurances” about the security of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix before agreeing to continue with the race, according to the FIA.

The governing body and F1 also say a “clear and open dialogue” will continue through the Jeddah weekend after the extraordinary events of Friday night in which drivers are understood to have been pushing to abandon the race.

A missile strike by the Yemen rebel group Houthi caused a major fire at an Aramco oil depot six miles from the Jeddah circuit on Friday.

Missile fire near Jeddah F1 track

Drivers were informed of the situation ahead of the slightly delayed second practice session, then had a further meeting with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem after the day’s track activity had finished.

That meeting morphed into a gathering of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association after F1 chiefs and team principals had left, and eventually ran for over four hours – two of which were spent with the drivers alone in discussion with each other.

It was believed that cancelling the race was becoming the most likely outcome, but after further discussions involving team principals – who all returned to the meeting approaching 1.30am local time – all parties left the circuit amid indications the race would go ahead after all.

The FIA and F1 issued a statement on Saturday confirming that at present the grand prix was continuing following Friday night’s discussions.

Saudi Arabian GP F1

“Formula 1 and the FIA can confirm that following discussions with all the teams and drivers, the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will continue as scheduled,” it read.

“Following the widely reported incident that took place in Jeddah on Friday, there has been extensive discusson between all stakeholders, the Saudi government authorities and security agencies who have given full and detailed assurances that the event is secure.

“It has been agreed with all stakeholders to maintain a clear and open dialogue throughout the event and for the future.”

Teams and drivers declined to talk to the media when finally leaving the circuit in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The next scheduled track action is final practice at 5pm local time.

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