Drivers’ Association issues statement over Saudi GP
By Mat Coch
Sunday 27th March, 2022 - 12:23am
The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association has added its voice as safety concerns engulf the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix following a missile strake at a nearby oil depot on Friday.
Formula 1 and the FIA issued a joint statement on Saturday morning reaffirming their belief that the event should go ahead after receiving assurances from local officials.
The GPDA, the body which represents the drivers’ interests but has no formal power, has issued its own statement.
“Yesterday was a difficult day for Formula 1 and a stressful day for us Formula 1 drivers,” the GPDA statement announced.
“Perhaps it is hard to comprehend if you have never driven an F1 car on this fastest and challenging Jeddah track, but on seeing the smoke from the incident it was difficult to remain a fully focused race driver and erase natural human concerns.
“Consequently we went into long discussions between ourselves, with our team principals, and with the most senior people who run our sport. A large variety of opinions were shared and debated and, having listened not only to the Formula 1 powers but also the Saudi government ministers who explained how security measures were being elevated to the maximum, the outcome was a resolution that we would practice and qualify today and race tomorrow.
“We therefore hope that the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be remembered as a good race rather than for the incident that took place yesterday.”
Cars return to the Jeddah Corniche Street Circuit for the final Free Practice session at 01:00 AEDT this evening.
That is followed by qualifying at 04:00 AEDT and Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at the same time, 04:00 AEDT on Monday morning.