Formula 1 has confirmed that the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will go ahead as planned despite Friday’s missile attack 20km from the Jeddah circuit.
A nearby fuel depot was targeted as the drivers took part in the first practice session, with black smoke billowing over the circuit.
In a joint statement on Saturday morning, F1 and its governing body, the FIA, said they had received “full and detailed assurances that the event is secure”.
A statement released ahead of qualifying on Saturday read: “Formula 1 and the FIA can confirm that after discussions with all teams and drivers, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will continue as planned.
“Following the widely reported incident that took place in Jeddah on Friday, there have been lengthy discussions between all stakeholders, Saudi government authorities and security agencies which have given full and detailed assurances that the event is secure.
“It was agreed with all stakeholders to maintain a clear and open dialogue throughout the event and for the future.”
Lewis Hamilton and his fellow drivers met for nearly four hours in the Jeddah paddock on Friday evening, and into the wee hours of Saturday morning.
And at the end of the crisis summit, it is understood that Hamilton and his fellow drivers were united in not wanting to race.
But the second round of the new season now looks set to continue, albeit overshadowed by Friday’s attack, with qualifying due to take place at 8pm local time (5pm UK).
The al-Masirah satellite news channel run by Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed to have attacked an Aramco facility in Jeddah. The same fuel depot, 12 miles east of the runway, was attacked last Sunday.
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