Welcome to GPFans

CHOOSE YOUR COUNTRY

  • NL
  • GB
  • FR
  • ES-MX
  • GB
F1 adamant safety comes first despite terrorist "tension"

F1 adamant safety comes first despite terrorist "tension"

F1 News

F1 adamant safety comes first despite terrorist "tension"

F1 adamant safety comes first despite terrorist "tension"

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is adamant the safety of all involved in the sport has not been compromised by the decision to remain in Saudi Arabia following Friday's terrorist missile strike.

F1 has been criticised for opting to push on with its race weekend at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit despite the attack by Yemeni political rebel group the Houthis on an oil refinery 11 kilometres from the track.

The controversial call was finally made in the early hours of Saturday morning after many hours of meetings after second practice involving the drivers, team principals, F1 and the FIA in consultation with high-level Saudi authorities.

Once F1 departs the Kingdom, a review of the situation will be held, with Domenicali insisting that safety will always be the number one priority for all concerned.

"What we did was done properly," insisted Domenicali.

"When you have to manage such a situation you need to divide the emotion with the rational aspect of it and try to manage all the information you have to try to make the right assessment and to involve the right people in that decision.

"As you know there was a lot of discussion, a lot of debate but safety, security for all the people of our world needs the maximum attention from all of us. There's no discussion about it. It's the first priority.

"And, of course, when you talk with the right authorities they have the right responsibility, in terms of the ministry of defence, the internal security.

"When we have received all the assurance that everything was under control and was properly managed, then we need to rely on them because they have the responsibility for that.

"We informed the teams and the drivers and we moved on."

Saudi Arabia needs "understanding" - Domenicali

Friday's incident has thrown a question mark over the future of the race that has a long-term contract in place, understood to be worth $50million per year to F1.

The event is to remain in Jeddah for another three years while a purpose-built facility in Qiddiya, complete with sporting and entertainment infrastructure, is constructed.

Domenicali insists F1 can be a force for good in Saudi Arabia.

"It is not a matter of question marks but a matter of understanding the situation," added Domenicali.

"We are not blind but we mustn't forget one thing, and that is this country and the sport in which we believe is making a massive step forward.

"You cannot pretend to change a culture that is more than millennial in the blink of an eye.

"The resources they are putting in place to move forward, you see here. Don't forget a couple of years ago women couldn't drive. [Now] they are here on the grid achieving.

"The kids, they are seeing the sport and they are changing a lot of laws in order to make sure this is happening. We must consider that.

"Of course, there is tension inside, there are things that have to be improved. We don't want to be political on that.

"But I do believe we are playing a very important role in the modernisation of this country. We are focused on making this the centre of our agenda."

Ontdek het op Google Play