Home AutoSports F1 drivers want talks on future of Saudi Arabian GP after race

F1 drivers want talks on future of Saudi Arabian GP after race

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JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Main Method One drivers have made clear that they need to revisit the subject of Method One’s presence in Saudi Arabia as soon as the Sunday race is over.

On Friday evening, all 20 F1 drivers had been on the brink of boycotting this 12 months’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after a missile assault on a close-by oil depot raised safety issues.

In a collection of conferences that lasted greater than 4 hours, F1 executives, workforce bosses and Saudi Arabian officers tried to reassure drivers of the protection of the occasion, and at 2:30 a.m. Saturday a collective decision was made to race on as normal.

Particulars of how that settlement was reached have remained personal between these concerned, however some drivers made clear Saturday that they need to revisit the subject of racing in Saudi Arabia as soon as the race weekend is completed.

“I don’t want to go too much into details on this subject now, but it’s definitely a discussion that we should have after this race, once everything calms down and we’ll look back at it, and then we’ll see,” Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc stated.

His Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz added: “I agree. I think there will need to be discussions after this race. Because clearly what has happened in the last 24 hours is definitely a point of discussion and consideration that we need to take going into the future.”

Mercedes driver George Russell, who represented the drivers Saturday of their 2 a.m. conclusive assembly with workforce bosses, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, stated the choice to race this weekend was the correct one however that the dialogue on the occasions of Friday wouldn’t finish there.

“I think the clarity was needed, the conversation was certainly needed,” Russell stated. “And I think it was good, we were all standing united, firstly, between all the drivers, and then together with Formula One, and ultimately, we trust in Stefano, Formula One as a whole. And, you know, we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t think it was right to be here.

“Clearly, there’s going to wish some readability after this race weekend the place we go from right here. However from what I perceive, all the pieces was beneath management on this particular area, and what occurs outdoors of the area, you can not management. I do not know what to say, actually.”

Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas revealed that, aside from assurances of increased security, one of the more compelling arguments to race this weekend was that the teams would have been stuck in Saudi Arabia either way due to logistical reasons and a shortage of flights.

“We drivers, we had been all involved if it is secure for all of us to be right here racing, we obtained first rate clarification on issues,” he said. “And likewise we went by way of all of the choices like, ‘What if we do not race,’ for instance, as a result of the groups would nonetheless need to stayed right here for a few days packing stuff, and it is also not like we will create some new fights so that everybody can get residence.

“So we’re all already here, let’s finish the race. They’ve increased the security and their defense system, so everyone agreed we might as well do the race and hope for the best.”

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo stated he felt the drivers had been a central a part of the choice to race this weekend, however that the problems raised Friday ought to be revisited.

“I think it’s something that we have to, let’s say, keep assessing,” he stated. “We were very much part of a discussion and it wasn’t a one-sided discussion yesterday evening.

“That is in all probability one of the simplest ways to say it. We had been very a lot concerned in what the result ended up being, which is what all of us agreed on.”

Domenicali was interviewed by Sky Sports following the qualifying session and was asked if the events of Friday had raised question marks over Saudi Arabia’s place on the F1 schedule going forward.

“No, I believe it isn’t a matter of query marks, it’s a matter of understanding the scenario for positive,” he said. “We aren’t blind however we do not have to neglect one factor, this nation it’s also true that Method One and the game, we imagine is doing large step ahead.

“You cannot pretend to change a culture that is a millennium in a blink of an eye, the resources they are moving in place to move forward, you see here women couldn’t drive a couple of years ago, they are achieving it, they are changing a lot of laws to make sure this is happening.

“After all there may be stress, issues to enhance, we do not need to be political on that, however I imagine we’re enjoying a vital position within the modernization of this nation, we’re specializing in ensuring that is on the heart of our agenda.”

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the most important thing was to avoid a repeat of a situation like Friday where a race could be called into doubt by a disagreement over security.

“I believe the drivers are stakeholders within the sport, as are the groups and the business rights holder,” he said. “And that is why everyone’s opinion is allowed and will probably be a part of a dialogue.

“At the end it’s Stefano who decides where we race, together with Mohammed, and that is what it is. But certainly we want to avoid a situation like yesterday where we didn’t know if the race was on or not.”

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