Saudi Arabia Grand Prix to go ahead despite missile strike after F1 drivers agree to race
A missile struck an oil facility near the Jeddah race track on Friday
This weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will go ahead after Formula 1 drivers agreed to race - despite security concerns following a missile attack near the Jeddah circuit.
Four-hour meetings between drivers and senior race figures were staged on Friday night, running into the early hours of Saturday morning.
Though fears to do not appear to have been totally allayed, reassurances from F1 bosses and Saudi government ministers have seen drivers agree to go ahead with Sunday's race.
The decision comes after an oil facility nine miles from the track was struck by a missile on Friday.
Formula 1 drivers on Saudi Arabia Grand Prix
In a statement, the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association said:
"Yesterday was a difficult day for Formula 1 and a stressful day for us Formula 1 drivers.
"Perhaps it is hard to comprehend if you have never driven an F1 car on this fast and challenging Jeddah track, but on seeing the smoke from the incident it was difficult to remain a fully focused race driver and erase natural human concerns.
"Consequently, we went into long discussions between ourselves, with our team principals, and with the most senior people who run our sport.
"A large variety of opinions were shared and debated and, having listened not only to the Formula 1 powers, but also to the Saudi government ministers, who explained how security measures were being elevated to the maximum, the outcome was a resolution that we would practice and qualify today, and race tomorrow.
"We therefore hope that the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be remembered as a good race rather than for the incident that took place yesterday."
Joint statement on the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix pic.twitter.com/xsyYpvVmhB
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 26, 2022
Potential impact of cancelling the Saudi Grand Prix
According to the BBC, one of the considerations during the meetings was the potential impact in cancelling the race and how this could result in delays in leaving the country.
Cancelling the race could have delayed the departure of personnel and freight.
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