Saudi Arabia ramps up security after missile scare

The 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was nearly cancelled due to a nearby missile strike.

The Grand Prix last season in Saudi Arabia was hotly anticipated by fans, with the first edition of the race in 2021 providing dramatic crashes, a championship fight and an amazing all-round show.

When F1 travelled to the region for the second race of last season, the scenes were dramatically different, with black smoke surrounding free practice and qualifying sessions.

It was quickly learned that this smoke was the result of a missile strike which hit a fuel depot only a few miles away from the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

It was suggested by many that the race should be immediately cancelled for the safety of the teams and drivers but the race organisers thought otherwise, attempting to convince the drivers to continue.

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Following a four-hour meeting with all of the drivers, it was eventually decided that the race would go ahead, with Max Verstappen going on to beat Charles Leclerc to the race win.

Talks were held in the following months about a potential return to Saudi Arabia, with some concerns being raised about the safety of the event following the missile scare.

The race in Jeddah returned to the calendar for this year and the third edition of the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix will take place this weekend, with many excited for another dramatic race.

According to reports, security in Jeddah has been ramped up ahead of this weekend’s race, with the race organisers going above and beyond to ensure that the teams and fans are as safe as possible.

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The human rights records of some of the Middle East host nations have been a concern to the fans and drivers, with Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton both making political gestures the last time F1 travelled to Jeddah.

It has now been confirmed that the grandstands will not be segregated by gender and that both boys and girls will be on the grid, easing the concerns surrounding social issues.

With Red Bull looking uncatchable at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Ferrari and Mercedes will be hoping for better fortunes in Jeddah.