Formula 1 stars are ready to demand more input regarding the sport’s schedule following last weekend’s highly criticised trip in Saudi Arabia, which saw a shocking missile attack take center stage.
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Formula 1 drivers expect more power and input from the sport’s race directors following last weekend’s controversial Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The opening practice session was taking place at Jeddah Corniche Circuit, which hosts its second Grand Prix. On Friday, a missile hit a nearby Aramco oil facility that is reportedly seven miles from the track. Yemen’s Houthi rebel group have since taken responsibility and claimed to be behind the attack.
Second practice saw racing continue, but the start was delayed. Drivers and team principals met with Ross Brawn and Stefano Domenicali, F1 bosses, to discuss the matter.
The drivers expressed concern about their safety and considered boycotting the whole race weekend. After four hours of discussions, they agreed that they would race despite being warned. ‘possible consequences’.
Drivers are reportedly open to discussing having greater control over where they race. According to reports, the drivers are planning to meet F1 bosses in order to discuss these changes and the missile attack.
Recent events have forced drivers to confront uncomfortable questions about the cancellation and restoration of the Russian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton spoke out about these topics: “We don’t decide where we go (to race). I think we do have an opportunity to try – we are duty bound to try – and do what we can while we’re here.”
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F1 currently determines the calendar lineup and wants to work more with all stakeholders, including the 10 team members. They will also release an assessment of the incident in Jeddah, which will be shared among all key figures.
F1 has made increased driver engagement with its audience a key part in its plans after Bernie Ecclestone, lifting the veil between drivers and fans. These meetings are expected to take place before the next Grand Prix in Melbourne.
The 22-race campaign 2022 – which will return to 23 races in near future after a Russian Grand Prix replacement has been found – continues with Australian Grand Prix on April 10.