F1’s Not-So-Fun Saudi Arabian Weekend – Opinion

We are a sports desk that is located just below the Good Pirate Ship RedState. Our preference in auto racing tends to be for the NASCAR/IndyCar sides. Not to slight F1, but it’s long been overly snobbish and high roller hoidy-toidy for our taste. If NASCAR is auto racing’s Lynyrd Skynyrd, F1 is its Dave Matthews Band. This is how you get the picture.

In its international chase for riches, F1 is in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) this Sunday. There are raging arguments around every Bedouin campfire night about Ferrari vs. Mercedes. It is fierce. But I digress.

The cold realities struck Friday, March 25th, when a missile strike ten-miles from the track. The attack was claimed by Houthi rebels, which have been rebuffed in similar fashion by the Saudis. Race participants are now a little nervous for some inexplicable reason.

The race organizers have assured all concerned parties that they are perfectly safe because … um, terrorists never attack civilians. No, really.

“Who are [the Houthis] targeting? The infrastructure and economic infrastructure are being targeted, not civilians, and certainly not the track.

“We checked the facts from them and we have the assurance from high level that this is a secure place, the whole thing will be secure and let’s go on racing.

“For sure all the families are here. We are only looking forward but with an assurance that nothing is going to happen.”

If that’s not the stuff of warm snugglies, I don’t know what is. *sarcasm off*

Though there had been some talk that drivers might boycott the race due to the discomforting words, this idea was thwarted by the above. To a certain extent. In Saturday’s qualifying sessions, seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton’s car boycotted running fast, while Mick Schumacher, son of legendary F1 driver Michael Schumacher, decided to skip racing the hard way with a hard crash that ended with him being airlifted to a nearby hospital. According to reports, he is expected to be fine. This relief comes as a relief for everyone.

So the race will proceed as scheduled. It’s worth noting that Hamilton is no fan of racing in Saudi Arabia anyway due to its penchant for executing people, and that plus security concerns have led him along with other drivers to (ahem) “suggest” they’d like to have a little chat with F1 about any future races in the country. It seems that all involved would love F1 to drop Saudi Arabia and replace it with the speculated 2023 Las Vegas Race. It may be more entertaining than Jeddah, despite how it sounds.

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