May 20, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

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F1-coureurs waren aanvankelijk unaniem vóór afgelasting in Jeddah

F1 drivers were unanimous at the start before canceling at J…



Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen and Christian Horner on their way to the meeting after the missile attack.

Photo: ANP / HH


During the night from Friday to Saturday, after long deliberations, the 20 Formula 1 drivers came to a common position not to race, after an earlier missile attack on an oil depot ten kilometers from the circuit in Jeddah.

Prior to that, Formula 1 management and team bosses had already agreed that the racing weekend would continue as usual, but the drivers then decided to hold a meeting together. It was clear that at least five drivers – including Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso – would prefer not to race in Saudi Arabia.

Read also: Drivers debate until deep into the night after the big split over whether or not to continue the Saudi Grand Prix

Then a point was reached where the other drivers showed their solidarity, even after Domenicali and sporting director Ross Brawn joined the pits and then left the room. At about 2:30 am (12:30 in the Netherlands), the drivers were one hundred percent behind their position not to continue the race, after which all the team leaders reported to the conference room at the start of the circuit.

It appears that the team bosses were able to convince the drivers in a subsequent half-hour meeting that racing was really the best option and that the local authorities were ensuring safety was guaranteed. Security around the circuit has been raised and there are anti-aircraft guns too. The security services are also convinced that the department is not a target for the Yemeni rebels.

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Also read: Even a missile attack cannot thwart the controversial Formula 1 race in Saudi Arabia

Half an hour later, the team chiefs left the room again, to head to Formula 1 driving. A little later, George Russell also reported on behalf of the drivers. Shortly thereafter, at 2:30 am in Jeddah, it became clear that the racing at the weekend would continue as usual.