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22 Mar, 2022 10:00

Saudi F1 chiefs respond after Yemen missile attacks

Fears had been raised over the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2022 after more than 100 boats containing explosives were destroyed
Saudi F1 chiefs respond after Yemen missile attacks

The Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will go ahead this weekend despite missile attacks on Jeddah from groups reportedly aligned with Iran, organizers have insisted despite The Arab Coalition revealing that 106 boats with explosives have been destroyed in the Red Sea.

Saudi Arabia said it had also intercepted a "hostile air target" aimed at a distribution facility owner by Aramco, the world's largest oil facility which is a Formula One sponsor and a backer of the race.

The Grand Prix is one of the most high-profile events on the sporting calendar for Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman's Saudi regime.

A spokesperson from The Arab Coalition stated that Saudi Arabia's Air Defense Forces had intercepted nine drones.

"We destroyed 106 explosive-laden boats that posed a threat to the freedom of navigation in the southern Red Sea," they said.

Grand Prix chiefs issed a statement saying that the acts of terrorism would have "no bearing" on the action starting on Friday.

"As always, the safety and security of our guests remain our top priority," they emphasized.

"We are in constant contact with the relevant authorities and all necessary measures have been taken to ensure the safety of all visitors... as well as participating personnel, staff and media.

"We look forward to welcoming everyone to Jeddah this weekend for three days of great racing and entertainment."

Ferrari are aiming to repeat their domination in the first race of the season in Bahrain last weekend.

Charles Leclerc finished first with partner Carlos Sainz behind him as the team recorded their first race victory since 2019.

Lewis Hamilton finished immediately ahead of Mercedes teammate George Russell in third, with reigning champion Max Verstappen failing to finish.

Briton Hamilton won the inaugural edition of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in December 2021.