A Saudi Arabian Grand Prix marshal was sacked after tweeting that he hoped Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time Formula One world champion, was involved in a disaster similar to Romain Grosjean’s spectacular tragedy in Bahrain in 2020.
An F1 marshal who tweeted that he ‘hoped’ Lewis Hamilton would crash in the same way that Roman Grosjean did in 2020 has resigned from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. After a neighboring gasoline depot was set on fire on Friday, the event has contributed to the controversy surrounding this weekend’s activity.
The anonymous marshal, who wrote in Arabic on Twitter, would no longer be involved in the race weekend in Jeddah, according to a representative for Formula One’s governing organization, the FIA.
On Friday evening, an extremist group targeted an Aramco facility just six miles from the circuit, casting uncertainty on Saturday’s P3 and qualifying sessions, as well as Sunday’s Grand Prix. During their struggle with the Saudi government, Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility.
P2 was 15 minutes late due to crisis talks between F1 president Stefano Domenicali and the teams.
Following the activity on the track, drivers, some of whom had expressed reservations about competing this weekend, convened for hours to discuss whether the race should go on.
With all the stuff that is going on, a tweet from an F1 marshall working at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix hasn’t helped ease tensions. In reaction to Hamilton’s desire to improve the country’s human rights record, he wished him an accident and referred to him as a “dog.”
Replying to an image of Lewis Hamilton on Twitter, user @Heem4U said: “I hope he has an accident like Roman (sic) accident in Bahrain.”
Another message aimed at Hamilton in Arabic read: “The Saudi authorities do not respond to dogs. If a person saw him, they would have responded to him.”
In a following message, the marshal, whose Twitter account is Heem4u, apologized to the Saudi motorsport and motorbike organization, as well as Mercedes driver Hamilton, who remarked on Friday that he wanted to see more reform in the kingdom.
Yesterday in Jeddah, Hamilton told reporters: “My position is still the same as when I spoke on this last year. There is not really a lot that I can say that is going to make any difference.”
“The sport has taken the choice to be here and, whether it is right or wrong.”
“I think that while we are here, again, it is important we try to raise awareness.”
In the death-defying Bahrain incident that ended his Formula One career, Romain Grosjean, the driver referred to in the Tweet, received burns to his hand but miraculously leapt out of his blazing vehicle.
The Frenchman presently competes in the IndyCar Series in the United States.