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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2022

F1 drivers break silence after overnight discussions

A statement released by the Grand Prix Drivers' Association reveals the F1 field's thoughts following the news that the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will go ahead as planned.

F1's drivers have spoken out after extensive discussions in Saudi Arabia following a missile attack on a nearby oil depot on Friday.

A series of stakeholder meetings took place yesterday in light of the incident, which caused a large fire and led to smoke permeating through the Jeddah paddock and across the circuit during first practice.

Whilst F1 and FIA chiefs stated that the weekend would continue after receiving assurances in regards to safety, the drivers later held a four-hour meeting of their own.

On Saturday, an official statement from Formula 1 and the FIA confirmed that the weekend's racing will go ahead as planned.

F1 drivers speak out on "difficult day"

Now the drivers have revealed their thoughts on the situation in a statement from the Grand Prix Drivers' Association.

"Yesterday was a difficult day for Formula 1 and a stressful day for us Formula 1 drivers," read a GPDA statement, shared on Chairman Alex Wurz's social media channels.

"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."

Further insight into driver discussions

The statement sheds further light on the discussions that took place on Friday and, with Saturday's practice and qualifying sessions and Sunday's race set to run as scheduled, the drivers have shared their hopes that the on-track action is what the event will be remembered for.

"Consequently, we went into long discussions between ourselves, with our Team Principals, and with the most senior people who run our sport," the release continues.

"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."

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