Following the announcement that the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will go ahead as planned, the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association issued a statement that indicates the F1 drivers’ opinions.
Following long conversations in Saudi Arabia following a missile assault on a neighboring oil station on Friday, F1 drivers have spoken out.
In the aftermath of the event, which resulted in a big fire and smoke spreading into the Jeddah paddock and across the circuit during first practice, a series of stakeholder meetings were held yesterday.
While F1 and FIA officials said the weekend would go on after getting assurances on safety, the drivers held their own four-hour meeting later. The sports body later issued an official statement on Saturday confirming that the weekend’s racing will take place as scheduled.
In a statement released by the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, the drivers have expressed their views on the situation.
“Yesterday was a difficult day for Formula 1 and a stressful day for us Formula 1 drivers,” read the GPDA statement.
“Perhaps it is hard to comprehend if you have never driven an F1 car on this fast and challenging Jeddah track, but on seeing the smoke from the incident it was difficult to remain a fully focused race driver and erase natural human concerns.”
With Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions and Sunday’s race all ready to go through as planned, the drivers have expressed their expectations that the on-track action will be what the event is remembered for.
“Consequently, we went into long discussions between ourselves, with our Team Principals, and with the most senior people who run our sport,” the release continues.
“A large variety of opinions were shared and debated and, having listened not only to the Formula 1 powers, but also to the Saudi government ministers, who explained how security measures were being elevated to the maximum, the outcome was a resolution that we would practice and qualify today, and race tomorrow.”
“We therefore hope that the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be remembered as a good race rather than for the incident that took place yesterday.”