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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2022

F1 and FIA explain decision to go ahead with Saudi race

F1 will go racing in Saudi Arabia this weekend, say Formula 1 and the FIA, despite an attack on an oil depot close to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Mohammed ben Sulayem - Verstappen - Horner
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and FIA President Mohamed Ben Sulayem say they have been assured by Saudi Arabian intelligence that Jeddah's Corniche Circuit "is a secure place" and will remain so for the remainder of the Grand Prix weekend.

It comes following an attack on a nearby oil depot, only a matter of miles away from the venue, that occurred shortly before cars took to the track for Friday afternoon's practice session.

A large plume of smoke from the attack was clear to see from the circuit while cars were on track.

Since then, F1 has held two meetings with drivers and Team Principals, either side of the evening's FP2 session, with the verdict unanimous that the race should go ahead.

Domenicali says F1 personnel are safe

Speaking to the media, including RacingNews365.com, following the latest talks, Domenicali said: "We've had a meeting with the drivers and Team Principals, together with the maximum authority of Saudi, with Prince Abdulaziz, the Minister of Sport, and Prince Khalid, the President of the SMC, and with FIA President Mohamed Ben Sulayem, and the government of Jeddah – and we have received total assurance that, for the country, safety is first.

"They are here with their families, actually here on the track. They have in place all the systems to protect this area, the city and the places where we are going, so we feel confident and we have to trust the local authority in that respect.

"Therefore, of course, we will, of course, go ahead with the event."

FIA President keen to "go racing"

Addressing the media alongside Domenicali, Ben Sulayem added: "I would say exactly what Stefano said; we have meetings with high-level security and then meetings with Team Principals and the drivers.

"Who are they targeting? They are targeting the infrastructure, not the civilians and not the track.

"We checked the facts with them and we had assurances from a high level that this is a secure place and the whole thing will be secure.

"Let's go on racing. All the families are here. We're only looking forward, but with an assurance that nothing is going to happen."

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