Missile attack in Jeddah, Saudi Arabian GP to proceed as planned

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

A missile attack on an oil facility close to the Corniche circuit delayed the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix FP2 by 15 minutes, but Formula 1 says the race will proceed.

During the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Free Practice 1, a nearby Aramco refinery had been attacked by The Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen.

The black smoke from the refinery engulfed the Corniche circuit and Free Practice 2 was delayed by 15 minutes.

Considering there had been more attacks in Jeddah last week, questions arose over whether the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix should proceed.

However, in an emergency meeting the teams and drivers were informed by Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali that the event will proceed as planned.

In an official statement, Formula 1 said:

“Formula 1 has been in close contact with the relevant authorities following the situation that took place today. The authorities have confirmed that the event can continue as planned and we will remain in close contact with them and all the teams and closely monitor the situation.”

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The Saudi Motorsport Company also issued a stament:

“We are aware of the attack on the Aramco distribution station in Jeddah earlier this afternoon,” the statement read.

“The race organisers remain in direct contact with the Saudi security authorities, as well as F1 and the FIA to ensure all necessary security and safety measures continue to be implemented to guarantee the safety of all visitors to the Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as well as all drivers, teams and stakeholders.

“The race weekend schedule will continue as planned. The safety and security of all our guests continues to be our main priority and we look forward to welcoming fans for a weekend of premium racing and entertainment.”

Since then reports started coming out that all media sessions involving the drivers have been cancelled tonight, although it has not been officially confirmed yet.

After another meeting between Formula 1, the FIA, the drivers and the teams held at 22pm local time, F1 confirmed that the race will proceed as planned.

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