Saudi Arabian GP likely to get cancelled after Houthi have claimed responsibility for attack on Jeddah Oil Depot

Saudi Arabian GP highly in doubt after confirmed terrorist attacks

The Jeddah oil refinery that went up in flames
The Jeddah oil refinery that went up in flames

Toward the end of first practice session at Jeddah, a massive black smoke cloud could be observed from the track, and Max Verstappen reported over team radio that he could detect “burning” from the cockpit of his Red Bull vehicle. “At the moment, we are waiting for further information from the authorities on what has happened,” an F1 statement read.

According to a Houthi military spokesman, the group claimed responsibility for the missile attacks against Aramco installations as well as the drone attacks on the Ras Tanura and Rabigh refineries. With the Saudi Grand Prix being the focus of attention throughout the world this weekend, any verified attack will raise safety worries. F1 officials were seeking information from local officials on the event before assessing whether any additional action was required.

It is understood that security at the Jeddah track had been heightened for this weekend anyway. The incident on Friday comes less than a week after the Houthis attacked a number of targets within Saudi Arabia. The Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen issued a statement confirming it was responsible for a missile that last Saturday caused a fire to break out at an Aramco distribution centre in Jeddah. It also launched a barrage of missile and drone attacks on various targets in the country.

The attack is the most recent in a long-running dispute between Saudi Arabia and Yemen

According to local media, the fire is at an oil refinery and the al-Masirah satellite news channel, which is run by the Yemenese Houthis group, which is at odds with Saudi Arabia. There has been a long-running discord within Yemen, and in beforehand of this Grand Prix, human rights groups in this country explained that they saw Saudi Arabia’s infiltrations into Yemen as an effort to tinker with the politics there, similar to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

An emergency meeting has been called by F1

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021

An immediate meeting has been called by F1 demanding the presence of all the drivers and the team principals in the meeting. This meeting has been called to possibly discuss the fate of the Saudi Arabian GP on Sunday which seems to be at stake now given the confirmed attacks by the Houthi. It is yet to be known regarding the cause behind this immediate meeting.

Also Read: Saudi Arabian GP in doubt as black fumes in nearby facility causes safety concerns after terrorist attack