A number of F1's team bosses are expecting Formula One Management (FOM) and the FIA to assess and discuss the future of Grand Prix racing in Saudi Arabia once this weekend's event is over. All 10 Team Principals were locked in lengthy talks between the Saudi government, F1, the FIA and their own drivers on Friday evening after a missile strike on an Aramco oil depot near the Jeddah circuit. Following reassurances that it is safe to continue the event, the teams voted unanimously to proceed – but the drivers proved harder to convince, with crisis talks between them stretching long into the night. For now, the weekend will go ahead as planned, though the future of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix has been brought into question.
How long is the contract Saudi Arabia holds with F1?
Ahead of the first Saudi Arabian GP, the promoters signed a deal stretching until 2025, with the event soon set to move to a new purpose-built venue in Qiddiya, just outside Riyadh. Saudi Arabia pays $55 million per year to host the event, the joint-highest fee paid by any venue to stage a Grand Prix . Last month, F1 terminated the contract of the Russian GP - which was set to be held in September - following Russia's invasion of nearby Ukraine. At present, the sport has made no suggestion that they plan to do the same for Saudi Arabia, despite Friday's nearby missile attack.
Capito expects future of the Saudi Arabian GP to be discussed
According to Williams boss Jost Capito, there will be talks over the future of the event following this weekend's race. He also stressed that such conversations should have been held long before F1 landed in Saudi Arabia. "I think the discussions should have been done before, and now will be after, but not during the event," said Capito, speaking to select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com . "As long as we have the confirmation that security is there and that we are safe."
Steiner: We need to focus on the present and then start afresh
Adding to Capito's comments, Haas team boss Guenther Steiner said: "I think that is coming up in the future. "It will be discussed, the FIA and FOM will look into it, and then it will be decided what will be done. "I think, at the moment, we need to focus on the event this weekend, and bring it to the end, and then start again from fresh."
Krack: It's not the teams who make the calendar
However, Aston Martin boss Mike Krack has stressed that the teams have little say in where F1 goes racing. "Certainly, there will be a lot of discussions after this event," said Krack, sitting alongside Steiner and Capito. "But again, I can only repeat, it's not the teams that make the calendar, it's FIA and F1 that make the calendar. "Obviously, we will give an opinion, if we are asked, and then we move on."