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Saudi Arabian GP "threat" would have sparked cancellation

Saudi Arabian GP "threat" would have sparked cancellation

F1 News

Saudi Arabian GP "threat" would have sparked cancellation

Saudi Arabian GP "threat" would have sparked cancellation

Saudi Arabia officials have confirmed the F1 grand prix weekend would have been cancelled if there had been a genuine threat to life.

Controversy was sparked in the early hours of Saturday morning when F1 decided to continue with the race following a missile strike on an oil storage facility 11 kilometres from the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Yemeni political rebel group the Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack as part of its country's eight-year war with Saudi Arabia.

It led to widespread criticism of F1 for opting to continue based on information from local authorities it was safe to do so.

But speaking to Reuters, Saudi sports minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal said: "If there is a threat, then rest assured we will cancel the race, but there is no threat and that’s what we discussed with everyone.

"Of course, the security and safety for everyone is a bigger issue than just hosting a race, even if it is the size of Formula 1, so the security of the city, the security of the kingdom is the top priority."

It was made clear to F1 on Friday after the attack the Houthis target infrastructure and not civilians

Prince Al-Faisal has made clear, though the Saudi authorities are open to any talks F1, the teams and drivers would like to hold in the future to ensure they feel safe to attend further races.

The next three events remain in Jeddah, with the following 10 on a 15-year contract set for a purpose-built facility in Qiddiya.

"Whatever they want, we are here to host Formula 1 as best as it can anywhere in the world," said Prince Al-Faisal.

"So we will definitely have an open discussion with them to see what their feedback is to discuss with them what their concerns are about. We will show them everything."

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