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Formula 1 investigates fire near Saudi Grand Prix circuit in Jeddah as Max Verstappen notices ‘burnt smell’


Formula 1 has issued a statement after a massive fire broke out near the Jeddah Grand Prix circuit in Saudi Arabia.

World champion Max Verstappen reported a burning smell, alerting his race engineer as the cars took to the track for the F1 weekend’s opening practice session.

Verstappen was one of the first on track to notice the fire
Getty
Formula 1 investigates fire near Saudi Grand Prix circuit in Jeddah as Max Verstappen notices 'burnt smell'
The smell was strong enough to penetrate Verstappen’s cockpit
Getty

The Jeddah Corniche circuit is hosting a round of the championship for the second time after debuting last season, but comes amid tight security for the race weekend.

Earlier in the week an attack on an oil depot in Jeddah was reported, and now a large fire has been seen at an Aramco facility 12 miles from the circuit near King Abdulaziz International Airport.

As the cars took to the track for the first free practice, Verstappen was heard on the team radio saying: “I feel a bit of a burning sensation.

“I don’t know if it’s my car or another car.”

Its engineer Gianpiero Lambiase replied: “We are happy that it is not your car.”

F1 has since released a statement on the fire, with a spokesperson saying: “We are awaiting further information from the authorities on what happened.”

Formula 1 investigates fire near Saudi Grand Prix circuit in Jeddah as Max Verstappen notices 'burnt smell'
F1 is currently awaiting more information
AFP


Teams and drivers have since been called to discuss the incident with track officials.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc finished fastest in the opening session ahead of Verstappen, while Lewis Hamilton finished ninth for Mercedes.

The second race is due to take place at 5pm in the UK but could be delayed.


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