MARCH 30, 2022

F1 to confirm Saudi Arabia GP contract safe

Formula 1 intends to keep racing in Saudi Arabia.

Atmosphere, Saudi Arabian GP 2022
© Red Bull

Formula 1 intends to keep racing in Saudi Arabia.

After reluctantly agreeing to continue with last weekend's event in Jeddah following nearby drone and missile attacks, the drivers said they were looking forward to much-needed talks about the future of the deal beyond 2022.

"Formula 1 has promised to reconsider their choices for some grands prix," said Valtteri Bottas.

"We have to go to circuits where our safety can be guaranteed 100 percent."

The Finn said "everyone" in the driver meeting was of the same opinion - even though the team bosses themselves were reportedly unified in wanting to race on.

De Telegraaf newspaper now reports that those official talks will take place prior to next weekend's Australian GP, adding that the sport has the "intention to return to Jeddah".

"The Formula 1 leadership hopes to provide the teams and drivers with more information about the measures taken in Jeddah before the next GP in Australia," claims Dutch journalist Erik van Haren.

His report added that Formula 1 was "unable" to provide all the "sensitive" details of the Saudi security measures last weekend, but officials now want to reveal that information "as soon as possible".

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko told Servus TV: "In our camp, it was decided to keep racing quite quickly.

"You can't just back down to these rebels, otherwise you'd have problems in every country," he said.

"But if you stand up to these kinds of actions, you must have assurance from the government. They explained to us that such a drone attack has never cost a human life and that no one was in danger," Austrian Marko explained.

"The race management was of course sceptical, but the government indicated that it had been a problem for years and that we could race."

Williams boss Jost Capito dismissed the comparison between Russia having its race permanently axed and the fact that Saudi Arabia's long and lucrative contract appears to be safe.

"It's different when a country invades another country versus whether something happens with terrorists," he insisted.