The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Sports, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal had said in a recent interview with a press agency that he had been in talks with F1 teams and drivers in a bid to ease worries over safety concerns of next season’s Jeddah GP.
In the matter of the fact, latest remarks from the Kingdom’s Sports Minister came against the backdrop of a chaotic consequence of a missile attack just a week before March’s Jeddah Grand Prix this year. The attack raised safety concerns among F1 drivers and teams, while few drivers came close to avoiding the event, too.
Saudi Arabian Sports Minister in talks with F1 on 2023 Jeddah GP safety concerns
Speaking in an interview with a press agency, Prince Abdulaziz was quoted saying that he has been holding talks with key F1 figures alongside officials aimed at allaying worries over Jeddah GP which is scheduled to take place on March 19, 2023.
On top of that, shortly after the Singapore GP last week, Prince Abdulaziz said to the reporters, “We are working with F1 to make sure that any concerns that any of the drivers, teams or individuals, even the fans, that we make sure that we fulfil these concerns.
We know that it's safe, but we need to explain what measures have been done. More than 4,000 troops were deployed during that event [this year] just to make sure, because when these things happen you are afraid people that want to aggravate on this will pick up on it, so we just made sure no one affects the safety of the event and the city.
For us safety and security is even bigger than Formula One, it's about a nation, so that's our No. 1 priority. We met personally with all the team principals, and I met personally with all the drivers. We spoke about all of these issues and we have open dialogue with them now.
Any requests and any concerns that they have, they hear from us, the officials, directly on these issues. I hope it continues as a cease-fire and nothing happens at the next event”. Adding that the attack from Yemeni Houthis on a Jeddah oil depot could be frightening for the drivers, Saudi Arabian Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz added, “I was on the plane when it happened, so I had to divert to Medina airport and then fly back to Jeddah and come to the track directly to speak to the drivers.
So, it wasn't a perfect scenario to start your weekend. But we have to learn from these situations. If you see the world today, it could happen anywhere and if we don't stay united, work together to make it a better example that we can actually have something good out of this then I think that's what we all intentionally agree on moving forward.
We know that we have some concerns regarding some issues. We're not perfect and we never claimed that we are but at least we're learning from our experiences and we're taking action to make it a better in the future”.