Formula 1: Large price on in Saudi Arabia

While an attack of the Houthist Yemeni rebels affected a petroleum warehouse near the circuit, and that the pilots were reluctant to run, the event was maintained on Sunday night.

Le Monde with AFP

An attack, with missiles and drones, Friday, March 25, against a neighboring petroleum deposit of about ten kilometers from the circuit. A violent accident during qualifying on Saturday, which led to the Micha Schumacher (Haas) hospital, the son of Michael Schumacher … It is in a particularly troubled context that the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix of Formula 1 will start Sunday afternoon, in Jedda.

Despite the high reluctance of the pilots, gathered for four hours on the night Friday to Saturday, and even though the British Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), seventh world champion, said he had “look forward to [s ] ‘In Going “, the leading bodies of the F1 decided, Saturday at midday, to keep the race.

“After discussions with all the teams and pilots, the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix of Formula 1 will continue as planned,” said the Formula 1 promoter and the International Federation of the Automobile (FIA) in a Communiqué.

“Long discussions have been held between stakeholders, Saudi government authorities and security agencies that have given complete and detailed insurance on the security of the event”, have added these instances.

The pilots had worried each other in the security conditions. The attack in Jedda is part of a wave claimed by the Hushists, Friday, on the eve of the seventh anniversary of the intervention of the military coalition led by Riyadh in Yemen, to support the government against the rebels, close to the rebel. Iran. It caused a gigantic fire and a cloud of black smoke visible from the circuit.

“This can give the impression that we worried about our safety but it was for yours, the media, the mechanics, the spectators,” said Spaniard Fernando Alonso (Alpine) Saturday night. By the voice of their association, the pilots then expressed their “resolution to participate in the tests and qualifications and the race tomorrow”.

Saturday, a spokesman for the Houthist rebels announced that they would stop their offensives in Yemen and against Saudi Arabia for “three days”.

“It will be necessary to talk about the situation. “

“We have all decided to run but, after this weekend, it will be necessary to talk about the situation,” warned Lews Hamilton, referring to the already disputed hold, before this weekend, of a great Awards in Saudi Arabia due to human rights violations.

“It’s not us who are loaded from the calendar” But the F1 and the FIA, even if the teams are consulted, reminded Jost Capito, leader of the Williams team. “If discussions should take place, it will be after the Grand Prix, not during, as long as we are safe.”

In the meantime, it is the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Red Bull), 32 years old and two victories in F1 (in 2020 and 2021), which will lead at 20 local hours (19 hours French), in front of the Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), winner of the first event of the season, Sunday, March 20th.

The Dutch Max Verstappen, in the title world champion, could not do better than 4 e and Lewis Hamilton will only start in 16 e position, after bad qualifications. Mick Schumacher, quickly released from the hospital, is planned Sunday, said his stable.

/Media reports.