The Formula 1 circuit is set to head to the Jeddah track next week for race two of the 2022 season, however there are doubts.
Formula 1 bosses are said to be ‘monitoring’ the situation surrounding this week’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, following a recent missile attack on Jeddah. This comes after an Aramco fuel plant in the city was recently hit.
As well as this, Reuters had reported that Saudi state media had revealed that a ‘hostile air target’ had been intercepted by a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, which was said to be targeted at the city hosting Sunday’s second race of the F1 season.
This came after a spokesman from The Arab Coalition revealed they had: “destroyed 106 explosive-laden boats that posed a threat to the freedom of navigation in the southern Red Sea,” per Al Arabiya English. It was also reported that Saudi Arabia’s Air Defence Forces had intercepted and destroyed nine drones.
The threats come just days before the F1 circuit is expected to head over to Jeddah to compete in this week’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The race will be the second outing of the 2022 season, as it moves onto the next step of a Middle Eastern swing following Sunday’s race in Bahrain.
As a result it was Ferrari who kicked things off in style, as Charles Leclerc followed his pole position in qualifying to secure victory. And, his teammate Carlos Sainz Jr followed the Frenchman up in second to secure a one-two finish for the Italian-based team on week one.
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Following a dramatic end to the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi last December, the new campaign started in similar fashion, with some of the sport’s biggest names once again embroiled in drama.
World champion Max Verstappen looked set to start his title defence in strong fashion by securing a podium finish, however the Dutchman suffered an engine failure late on to end his hopes. Things then went from bad to worse for Red Bull as Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez sacrificed third place after spinning out on the final lap.
This allowed Red Bull’s arch rival Mercedes to swoop in, as seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton was the man to take the final podium place in third. The Englishman was then followed home by new teammate George Russell, who secured a fourth place finish.
Despite a scintillating start it remains unknown as to whether the world’s best drivers will be competing this Sunday, due to the fears in Jeddah. F1 bosses have already been forced to scrap one race from the season schedule after the Russian Grand Prix was axed due to Vladimir Putin ’s recent invasion of Ukraine.