F1 bosses are reportedly monitoring the situation in Saudi Arabia after a missile attack in the Jeddah region, where this weekend’s race is due to be held. According to Reuters, a Saudi-led coalition has “intercepted and destroyed” a hostile air target.
The target was aimed towards a petroleum depot in Jeddah, according to Saudi state media in a major blow for F1. Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group had earlier attacked an Armaco distribution plant in Jeddah
The group had also fired missiles and drones at Saudi energy and water facilities in the Jizan region.
A spokesman from The Arab Coalition said: “We destroyed 106 explosive-laden boats that posed a threat to the freedom of navigation in the southern Red Sea.” The Sun claim that F1 bosses are keeping a close watch on the situation in the Middle East with Sunday’s race in mind.
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However, F1 boss Stefano Domenicali defended the decision to attend next weekend.
He told Sky Sports F1: “When we hear this kind of news, it’s quite alarming. But I’m a true believer in the fact that sport has to make sure that human rights is at the centre of our agenda, together with the country where we are going.
“I think if I take a step back, what we saw last year, we saw a lot of women, a lot of young people attending the race and enjoying for the first time that they’ve never had the chance to see live, is the right direction to take. The fact that we’re going to be there, gives the intensity of the spotlight around a subject that maybe without us would have a different place in the news.”