Last year the Formula One came for the first time in Saudi Arabia. Oh boy little did we know what eventually would happen during that weekend. What I predicted with a cynical laughter happened, how was this even possible? The bombs felt next to the circuits. Because of a conflict between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. It still bothers me that the drivers, by force, appeared Sunday on the grid for the first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. What will they do this year, Obey?
Surely, a minor group of F1 fans already questioned the Grand Prix even before it started. We all know how the situation is in Saudi Arabia with human rights and so on. It is not the case for this article. It is the way that money is brutally destroying the sport. How people seem to be bravely obey.
Let’s go back a year earlier, the 2021 Belgium Grand Prix. Because of the heavily that continued on the Sunday the Grand Prix was cancelled. It was deemed that it was too dangerous to have a race. They have a point there as it kept on pouring water on the circuit. On the other hand, back in the 1990s there were monsoon races where they simply started the race. Perhaps it is a mentality thing, or a generation thing.
Anyway, back to Saudi Arabia in 2022, I was shopping that Friday when I got a push message that an explosion had happened near the circuit in Jeddah. My first thoughts were some attack. More info about this came soon after and it was an oil depot that was bombed by rebels. Seven kilometre from the circuit. Why was this not enough reason to cancel the Grand Prix?
It still bothers me until today that the drivers eventually bowed for the threats, qualified, and raced on the circuit. If this had happened in Zandvoort or Japan, I would say the same. The race should be stopped due to the safety risk for drivers, personnel and the fans that are on or near the circuit. Perhaps the race could be done a few weeks later when the safety risk is gone.
I might be a grumpy person, as it is not the first time I’m writing about it. However, what will the drivers do this year if a bomb falls next to the circuit, some lunatic appears on the circuit or a riot occurs? Will they still simply continue racing like nothing has happened? Or will they show some balls?
Anyway, I truly hope that no more incidents like last year will happen during a Grand Prix weekend. Therefore, I wish you all a great 2023 Formula One season with lots of spectacle on the track by overtaking and Haas winning four races.