SPORT: Saudi Arabian will host F1 Grand Prix despite rebel attack.

The Sau­di Ara­bi­an For­mu­la One Grand Prix will con­tin­ue as planned on Sun­day despite an attack by Houthi rev­o­lu­tion­ists in Yemen on an oil instal­la­tion that set off a huge fire vis­i­ble from Jeddah’s road­way circuit.

Flames ripped through the Aram­co oil refin­ery on Fri­day and com­peti­tors set to share in the race indeed smelled the blaze dur­ing the open­ing prac­tice run.
“ For­mu­la 1 and the FIA (Inter­na­tion­al Motor­ing Fed­er­a­tion) can con­firm that fol­low­ing con­ver­sa­tions with all the crews and dri­vers, the 2022 FIA For­mu­la 1 Sau­di Ara­bi­an Grand Prix will con­tin­ue as list­ed,” the rac­ing body said in a state­ment on Saturday.

“ There has been wide dis­cus­sion between all stake­hold­ers, the Sau­di gov­ern­ment author­i­ties, and secu­ri­ty agen­cies who have giv­en full and detailed assur­ances that the event is secure.”
com­peti­tors held near­ly four hours of meet­ings with crew heads and F1 CEO Ste­fano Domeni­cali and Man­ag­ing Direc­tor Ross Brawn into the ear­ly hours of Sat­ur­day on whether to go ahead with the race.

“ Ready and com­plete­ly con­cen­trat­ed for tomorrow’s qualy!” Mex­i­can dri­ver Ser­gio Perez of Red Bull twit­tered after the long meet­ings.
Domeni­cali pre­vi­ous­ly claimed the week­end would con­tin­ue as planned.

“ For­mu­la 1 has been in close con­tact with the applic­a­ble author­i­ties fol­low­ing the sit­u­a­tion that took place moment,” an F1 spokesper­son said after the num­ber two prac­tice ses­sion on Fri­day night. “ The author­i­ties have attest­ed that the event can con­tin­ue as planned.”

Domeni­cali and Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the recent­ly elect­ed chair­man of the sport’s rul­ing body the Inter­na­tion­al Motor­ing Fed­er­a­tion (FIA), met dri­vers and crew heads to try to assure them.
“ We’ve entered total assur­ance on safe­ty and secu­ri­ty then, for the coun­try and for the fam­i­lies,” Domeni­cali said.
World cham­pi­on Max Ver­stap­pen was one of the first dri­vers to be sen­si­ble of the dra­ma unfold­ing while he guid­ed his Red Bull crew through the first prac­tice session.

“ I smell burn­ing – is it my machine?” said the Dutch­man on his crew radio.
Friday’s attack was part of a surge of assaults before the sev­enth anniver­sary of a Sau­di- led coalition’s ser­vice inter­ven­tion against the Houthis in Yemen, a coun­try in the grips of what has been described as the world’s worst phil­an­thropic extremity.

The coali­tion fight­ing the Iran-aligned rev­o­lu­tion­ists ver­i­fied the Jed­dah oil fac­to­ry attack.
“ They’re try­ing to impact the whim-whams- cen­tre of the world fru­gal­i­ty,” the coali­tion said in a state­ment. “ These attacks have no impact on life in Jeddah.”

Before­hand on Sat­ur­day, the coali­tion said it car­ried out retal­ia­to­ry attacks against Yemen’s cap­i­tal Sanaa and the harbor­age megac­i­ty of Hodei­dah.
Mean­while, on the race track, Charles Leclerc out­gunned the final prac­tice times for Fer­rari ahead of Verstappen.

The 24- year-old Mon­e­gasque dri­ver and ear­ly-sea­son leader of the embry­on­ic title clocked a styl­ish leg in one minute and30.074 to out­pace the Dutch­man by near­ly two-tenths.
Car­los Sainz was third in the alter­nate Fer­rari and Ser­gio Perez fourth, with a deter­mined Lewis Hamil­ton fifth ahead of his new Mer­cedes team­mate George Rus­sell after a day of hit­ting and slid­ing on the high- speed circuit.

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