Max Verstappen, Saudi Security, Charles Leclerc discussed on The Autosport Podcast

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Coming through and also the long run pace as well, which is always the more interesting for some people Charles Leclerc. Once again, leading the way in that Ferrari. With a one minute 30.074 but completing much fewer laps than many of his competitors only 15 laps completed today because of clattering, the wall and colliding with his front left wheel on the inside turn, which would bend or break a steering arm track rods. Max Verstappen coming in seconds on a one minute 32 one four. Again, about a tenth and a half behind. Carlos Sainz brings his Ferrari into third and Sergio Pérez fourth Lewis Hamilton the first of two Mercedes and 5th and 6th Lewis followed by George Russell, McLaren, hopefully Boyd in 7th place with Lando Norris Esteban ocon's Alpine in 8th place followed by Valtteri Bottas slipping down in the afternoon times 9th and in the tenth position UK sonoda. After multiple attacks over the last two weeks, Yemen's Houthi rebels group attacking an Aramco storage facility, only a few kilometers from the site of the Jeddah circuit, no doubt doing it on a day when they knew the eyes of the world and the sports media would be on Formula One. The attack happening in free practice one, the sky thick, with dark black smoke, drivers talking over the radio of the smell of oil, Max Verstappen, saying I can smell something burning, is it my car? A lot to talk about today, Hayden Cobb, also sport dot com's editor. Hayden, just run us through the timeline of events if you would today. It was approximately about ten miles away from the track Aramco oil facility. It's now been confirmed as a missile attack and ensure it's an ongoing and long-standing dispute and a very aggressive tactics from both sides between Talia and Yemen. But obviously F one being in the prime spotlight, this is clearly taken as a site tactic for to grow attention to this and F one choosing to race in Saudi Arabia. It was always going to be at risk at something like this, potentially happening, discussions were had between F one and FP two regarding what has happened. They're getting the facts correct, seeing what was potentially happening. And obviously there was a lot of concern in the paddock. Not only from the drivers, but everyone involved because anything in the series like that, given what we've seen not only in that part of the world, but also most recently in Ukraine is particularly scary. The Saudi security officials spoke with Formula One bosses, team principles, drivers, Stefano del micali, the CEO and the FIA president. And in short, they delayed FP two by 15 minutes just to make sure everyone was aware of the facts and have a discussion to make sure they're okay to continue. And then FBE two by and large runners as planned. But 50 minutes later, but we wouldn't have believed that the events just down the road had taken place, but yes, it came back into discussion obviously at the end of FP two and that's why we had a bit of an unusual end to the day. Let's say. So we have the two practice sessions, the F two drivers weren't told. So while this conversation was going on in Formula One, talking to the team bosses and the drivers, after FP two, on a Friday, we're now going to get to speak to another round of drivers and press conferences and media interviews where the TV, but also the written written media get to talk to the drivers and the team bosses. What happened next today? Yes, so an unusual tactic requested by the FIA was for all teams not to do any media TV written or otherwise post FP two because obviously the topic of point was going to be about the attack that they all facility and whether they'd want to race for the rest of this weekend and where they felt safe. Then happened, which in the forms of time obviously makes a bit more sense with the time frame, was there was another meeting involving team principles, drivers, F one, officials and FIO officials with the Saudi security officials and senior figures. To basically give more detail and give more information on the ongoing situation. And in short, basically say that the track itself is the safest place to be in Saudi Arabia. On that one, that's not my assessment. To be fair, there is an understandable approach given the high level security round that event regardless of what's happening around the world. And indeed, the setup that the Saudi Arabian would have had to follow and had to adhere to ensure that the race would go ahead. So in that sense, it was very much a case of, if you can't be safe at the track, you're not going to be safe anywhere. Both Christian Horner and total wolf speaking very briefly after the meeting said that all team principles were in unison in their decision that they want to keep racing and we're comfortable with continuing racing this weekend. We get to hit properly here for many of the drivers. They're having their drivers briefing, which they have every Friday night after practice. Normally, to go over things like yellow flags and the more common issues that come up after practice, but obviously that will be the central focus and we'll hopefully find out very soon what the drive is sort of think about the situation. But at the moment, we understand that all drivers will be carrying on for this weekend as all the teams are. From Formula One, they say this and I quote F one has been in close contact with the relevant authorities, following the situation. The situation. The authorities have confirmed that the event can continue as planned and we will remain in close contact with them and all the teams and closely monitor the situation. A range of opinions on this, I would say, the telegraph sports Twitter account saying that Formula One stands accused of literally playing with fire, as it vows to race on in Saudi Arabia of course pointing out that Saudi Aramco, otherwise known as Aramco, that company that you see their logos plastered all over, Formula One, any of the race venues they go to, let alone being the home race would be a large decision to cancel it. It's not like we didn't know what Formula One was going into. People like Adam hay Nichols, the metro F one columnist being quite punchy. Saying that not sure some security guys and soldiers with rifles will be able to protect a circuit from missile assault. Our colleague Andrew Benson from BBC.

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