Putting all the speculations to rest, Formula 1 has confirmed that the current Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will go on as per the schedule. After discussions with all the stakeholders following an attack on an oil depot by Yemen Rebels that resulted in a massive fire near the F1 race circuit, the organisers have decided that the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will continue as scheduled.
Earlier, several reports were doing the round claiming security threat to F1 fraternity as Yemen rebels were reportedly coming close to submit their threat. Many speculated that the attack on the oil depot was a message to postpone the second round race of the season. FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali showed confidence in the Saudi government and authorities. Both have said that the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will go ahead safely despite an attack near the track earlier today.
Joint statement on the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix pic.twitter.com/xsyYpvVmhB
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 26, 2022
“The authorities will constantly remain in close contact with them and all the teams to maintain the highest standards of security,” Formula 1 said in a statement. F1 CEO Domenicali confirmed that he met the drivers, team principles, and senior office bearers in Saudi authorities, including Prince Abdulaziz, the Minister of Sports and Prince Khalid, the ASF president and of the ASF and course with Sheikh Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
“We have been assured of our security. We need to show our confidence towards the local authorities and continue to make the race memorable for all,” said Domenicali. He added the decision to proceed had the unanimous support of the team principals. “We need to trust the local authorities not only here but all around the world because if that is not the case, we will be in a situation that’s not manageable”, concluded F1 CEO.
Speaking of race, the first practice session for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit concluded on Friday with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc clocking a 1m 30.772s on the closing stages on the soft compound tires. Bahrain Grand Prix winner Leclerc picked up from where he left off in Bahrain as he set the pace in first place for the Saudi Arabian GP.