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F1 drivers overcame ‘natural human concerns’ to race at Saudi Arabian GP


Formula 1 drivers chose not to boycott the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix because government ministers assured them that security measures were “high to the maximum”, according to the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA). ).

The 20 F1 drivers held a remarkable four-hour meeting on Friday night as they resisted calls from F1 to race as normal after an attack on an oil depot just 10km from the Jeddah circuit.

At 2.30am on Saturday morning, F1 team bosses and CEO Stefano Domenicali emerged from a separate meeting, attended by GPDA director George Russell, and insisted the race should go on. was going as planned.

The GPDA said it was natural for the drivers to have reservations about the race given the circumstances.

“Yesterday was a difficult day for Formula 1 and a stressful day for us Formula 1 drivers,” the statement read.

“It may be hard to understand if you’ve never driven an F1 car on this fast and difficult circuit in Jeddah, but seeing the smoke from the incident, it was hard to remain a fully-fledged racing driver. focused and erase natural human concerns.

“As a result, we had long discussions among ourselves, with our team managers and with the most experienced people running our sport. A wide variety of opinions were shared and debated and, after listening not only to Formula 1 powerhouses but also the Saudi government ministers who explained how safety measures were being pushed to the max, the result was a resolution that we would train and qualify today and race tomorrow.

“So we hope that the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be remembered as a good race rather than the incident that happened yesterday.”

The drivers’ decision means practice and qualifying will go ahead as planned on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s race.

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