Toto Wolff says drivers were not pressured to drive in Saudi Arabia

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

After a missile strike on an oil facility near the Jeddah circuit, Formula 1 officials held talks with drivers to assure them that racing in Saudi Arabia was safe.

The attack happened on Friday in the middle of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix free practice sessions.

After the usual pre-race briefing, the drivers held a private meeting among themselves and an agreement was reached that they will not continue with the race weekend.

However, after they had a meeting with F1 officials, the team bosses and the local authorities, and received assurances that racing in Saudi Arabia was safe, they agreed to go through with the race.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says there was no pressure put on drivers to agree to race.

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“There wasn’t any arm twisting from our side, there were good discussions,” the Austrian said.

“When the team principals talked to the drivers, I think what we talked was sense and not at all any pressure, but maybe that was perceived in a different way.

“In the end, the show and the spectacle was amazing and what we delivered as a sport was great. And I think this is what sports should do.

“To be honest, I’ve been here five years, I’ve seen change. And I repeat what I said before: this is where we are, but there’s just so much more to do.

“A lot,” Wolff concluded.

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