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Saudi Arabian Grand Prix exit 'not the right choice' - Ferrari

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix exit 'not the right choice' - Ferrari

F1 News

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix exit 'not the right choice' - Ferrari

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix exit 'not the right choice' - Ferrari

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has claimed it "would not have been the right choice" for F1 to pull out of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after terrorists launched a missile strike on a nearby oil depot on Friday.

The first two practice sessions took place against a backdrop of smoke after Yemeni rebel group the Houthis attacked an Aramco facility situated 11 kilometres from the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

A series of meetings took place between the FIA, F1 and its drivers and teams and although the ultimate decision was to press ahead with the event, a four-and-a-half-hour discussion made it clear there were differences of opinion.

Reflecting on what unfolded, Binotto said: "After that long discussion that it was important to have, they [the drivers] simply understood and supported that it was important to stay and remain and continue the weekend and drive here in Saudi.

"By leaving the country, it would not have been simply the right choice and there were no right reasons to leave here, to leave the country after all the assurances we had got.

"So I think they met, they had their own concerns and raised them but all together we tried to get the assurances and got the right explanation as well."

F1 efforts can improve Saudi situation - Binotto

In a joint statement from F1 and the FIA released on Saturday morning, the sport confirmed it had received "detailed assurances that the event is secure".

Keen to put impress F1 can have a positive impact by continuing with the weekend, Binotto added: "It was a long night.

"But first, let's focus on the facts. It is never great to see what has happened but we know that it is not the first time it has happened in this country or in this area.

"Again, if there is any reason why we are here it is to get [across] a positive message and that is our duty, it is our task and by being here it is what we need to really try to do.

"I am sure that in the future everything will be addressed and improved going through our efforts."

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