Some loud bangs were heard above the circuit where the two Formula E races took place this weekend. It is believed to have been a missile attack intercepted by the Saudis. Although debris damaged a house, no one was injured.

Saudi Arabia, with its Patriot missiles, has the best anti-aircraft weaponry that the Americans have to offer, so in that sense no one has probably been in any real danger. But it does say a lot about the war situation in which the country finds itself.

One of the Saudi generals tells Al Jazeera that the Yemeni Houthis rebel movement is responsible for this attack. These rebels have in fact conquered a significant part of neighbouring Yemen since 2014. These are Shiite Muslims and therefore arch-enemies of Sunni Saudi Arabia.

The missile was launched at the middle-eastern country’s capital of Riyadh, according to the reports, and was intercepted nearby to the neighboring city of Diriyah, where Formula E was holding its crash-shortened second race of the season-opening double-header. It remains unclear how close to Formula E’s event the missile was thwarted.

Three further weaponized drones were also discovered, these believed to be aiming for Saudi Arabia’s southern province, Jazan. According to ABC, a fourth drone was said to be heading for a Southwestern city. None of the attacks have been successful, say the aforementioned reports.

The Formula E paddock remained out of harm’s way during the attack, the race not believed to have been the target of the missiles despite the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud presence at the night race, which saw Jaguar’s Sam Bird emerge victorious after a red flag for a crash in which Mahindra’s Alex Lynn was rolled upside-down – the British racer was discharged from hospital after visit.

After Saturday’s troubling events, the status of Formula 1’s planned race in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – due to take place in fall – has been called into question. Neither the FIA, nor F1 have yet commented on the matter, but with the Jeddah race planned for December 5, it is possible the race could go unaffected, especially with the sporting bodies’ intention to make it a 10 years plus event.

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