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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2022

F1 meeting gets underway in Jeddah paddock

A meeting between leading F1 personnel, the drivers and team bosses is going ahead in the Jeddah paddock on Friday evening, addressing the emerging situation after an apparent missile attack on a nearby Aramco fuel facility.

Saudi GP
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Formula 1's drivers and teams have been united in remaining tight-lipped following Friday's track action in Saudi Arabia, in the wake of an apparent missile attack on a nearby Aramco fuel facility.

Ahead of the first practice session, a fire was reported at the facility, with acrid smoke permeating through the paddock and across the circuit.

The action on-track remained unaffected, although a meeting between the drivers, team bosses and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali resulted in a decision to continue with the weekend as planned.

Since that meeting, the circuit promoters have come forward to confirm that the fire was as a result of an "attack", and reiterated F1's stance that - as things stand - the weekend would continue.

A second meeting of F1 personnel with senior F1 figureheads, as well as FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, was scheduled to be held on Friday evening at 22:00 local time (19:00 GMT).

Aramco, a Saudi-owned oil and gas company, are a global sponsor of F1, having signed a 10-year deal with the sport in 2020.

Marko: We should race if security can be guaranteed

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has said that F1 shouldn't be cowed by the possibility of terrorism, provided that the security of the event can be guaranteed.

"If safety is guaranteed for the next two days, then we should go [ahead]," he told Sky Deutschland.

"The Saudis have a defense system and, for some reason, the drone (referring to the missile) wasn't intercepted. The rebels know they get a lot more publicity at the Grand Prix – that's part of the concept.

"I think these drone attacks happen often, but they have a very good defence system. You have to find out now why it didn't work. It's not the first drone, but it's the first to make a massive impact.

"You shouldn't let terrorism completely intimidate you into normal life. We should take a look now, and if security is guaranteed for the next two days, then we should go [ahead]."

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F1 2022 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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