Saudi Arabia has sought to calm F1’s minds after last weekend’s controversy – a rebel missile attack on an oil facility just 12 miles away sparked concern among those involved in the sport
Video not available
Saudi Arabia has offered assurances F1 after a controversial weekend. After a rebel missile attack on an oil facility just 12 miles from the Jeddah Corniche Circuit during qualifying, many began to speculate about the track’s future in the sport.
A meeting between drivers, team bosses and officials lasted until the early hours of the next morning, during which the concerns of the participants were addressed and the race finally took place. As it stands, F1 has no plans to terminate its contract with the Middle Eastern country. Saudi Arabia’s Sports Minister, His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, assured F1 and traveling fans that they will do everything they can to put their minds at ease.
“We haven’t gone into the details yet, but we’re open to discussion,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com. “We’re open to sitting down and seeing where the issues are and what reassurances they need.”
He added: “Whatever they want, we’re here to host F1 around the world as best we can. So we will definitely have an open discussion with them to see what their feedback is like, to discuss with them and see what their concerns are about. We will show them everything.” Lewis Hamilton has previously expressed concern about races in Saudi Arabia due to its human rights record.
the Mercedes The driver said at the first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021 it made him “uncomfortable” to be there.
Asked last weekend if his attitude had changed, Hamilton said: “I don’t really know what to say. My position is still the same as when I spoke here last year.” But Prince Abdulaziz believes F1’s presence in the country will help drive positive change.
James Moy Photography/PA Images)
“We’re here for a reason for a long-term partnership, because we see where we’re going,” he said. “We want to grow with the sport. We know the importance of Formula 1 and want to be part of the international community. We want to be present. We want everyone to come to Saudi Arabia and feel like they are going somewhere else in the world.
“These problems happen unfortunately, they happen all over the world and we have to address them in the best possible way.” Saudi Arabia has made strides in the sporting world to change the perception of its nation.
They brokered a deal with WWE where Vince McMahon’s mega-corporation now hosts annual shows in the country. While initially it wasn’t, women are now allowed to wrestle in Saudi Arabia as WWE Stars Natalya and Lacey Evans went head-to-head in 2019 in the first-ever women’s wrestling match.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/formula-1/f1-saudi-arabia-tension-controversy-26615216 Saudi Arabia is offering 'assurances' to Formula 1 after tensions and controversy during the Grand Prix