F1 News: Teams Tell Drivers They Don’t Need To Race Following Terror Attack
A number of F1 drivers have been told by their teams that they can choose to not compete in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix if they feel uneasy after the terror attack on a local oil facility.
During the first day of practice, an oil facility was attacked by Yemen rebels while the drivers were on track. This was followed by a long drivers meeting that went on into the early hours of the morning. This, according to reports, is where the drivers told management that they were happy to race, but now a number of teams have told drivers that they can pull out of the GP if they don’t feel comfortable.
Aston Martin team principle Mike Krack, told press the following:
“You cannot force someone to drive who doesn’t want to drive, or is uncomfortable to drive.
“We were not in that situation but if we were, we would respect the opinion or concerns of the driver and try to talk, try to understand, to find an agreement.
“Ultimately, you need to respect what they want to do.”
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto admitted to the press that there is “no right reason” for the racing to stop, adding that no one wants to leave.
“No one has left, no one is willing to leave.
“But just to say, before coming, we as Ferrari certainly tried to get our own information, making sure that everything was secure.
“We got in contact with the local authorities, with the Italian consulate here just to be sure that everything was under control, and our people know that. They know we are taking care, that we are sensible.
“Finally, if someone left, as for the drivers, it is important to listen, to come back to them and try to explain and make sure that any decision is a proper one.
“But I am pretty sure that with the way things are going, all the people in the team trust us, they are relaxed and feel really safe.”
The race will go ahead as usual tomorrow with Sergio Perez taking pole followed by Clarles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, then Max Verstappen.