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F1 assured terrorists targeting Saudi infrastructure not civilians as GP goes ahead

F1 assured terrorists targeting Saudi infrastructure not civilians as GP goes ahead

F1 assured terrorists targeting Saudi infrastructure not civilians as GP goes ahead

F1 assured terrorists targeting Saudi infrastructure not civilians as GP goes ahead

F1 has been assured the Yemeni terrorists that continue to attack Saudi Arabia are not targeting civilians and the grand prix is safe to go head this weekend.

The assurances came after two meetings in the Jeddah Corniche Circuit paddock that took place on either side of second practice after an oil refinery 11 kilometres from the circuit was struck by a missile from Yemeni political rebels the Houthis during FP1.

As the refinery that is owned by Saudi oil giants Aramco - which sponsors Aston Martin - blazed away, providing a frightening backdrop against the night sky as FP2 took place, F1 and the FIA were offered unequivocal guarantees over safety.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem met with high-level Saudi authority figures, as well as all the team principals and drivers.

Following the second meeting that lasted just 20 minutes, Domenicali said: "We have received total assurance that the country's safety is first. No matter the situation, safety has to be guaranteed.

"They are here with their families, actually here at the track, so they have in place the systems to protect this area, the city and the places where we are going.

"So we feel confident to trust the local authorities in that respect and, therefore, we will go ahead with the event."

Addressing the gathered media, Ben Sulayem added: "We had meetings with high-level security, then we had meetings with the team principals, with the drivers, to assure them.

"Who are they [the Houthi terrorists] targeting? They are targeting the infrastructure, not the civilians, and, of course, not the track.

"We've checked the facts from them and we've got assurances from the highest level that this is a secure place, the whole thing will be secure, and let's go on racing.

"For sure, all the families are here, we are all looking forward, but with an assurance that it is safe."

Domenicali insisted there was unanimity from all the teams to continue racing.

"Yes, we are here all together," added Domenicali. "We are standing together.

"We need to trust the local authorities, not only here but all around the world because if that's not the case then we would be in a situation that is not manageable, so that's the situation."

As to the drivers specifically, Domenicali concluded: "They will be on the track so you will see."

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