Debate intensified on Friday over whether F1 should continue in Jeddah after the attack on the depot of its main supporter, Aramco, which was attacked by Houthis in the Saudi city itself.
Despite the guarantees, Toto Wolf was one of those who firmly believed that Formula 1 could be safely raced. The Houthis confirmed a three-day ceasefire and posed no threat to the race. The director of the Mercedes F1 did not see it as too dangerous.
“You may have this opinion, and when you consider the various political conflicts, there are very serious situations for people that have been going on in the Middle East for a while.” Wolf mentions.
“I like going to Tel Aviv, Israel, but you’re used to flying drones there. For us, it’s acceptable for a drone to run 15km from a gas tank? Of course not. But for that. In their culture, these things happen here.”
Making Saudi Arabia a ‘better place’
However, Wolfe believes it is important for teams and F1 to shed light on any problems that Saudi Arabia is experiencing, and he hopes this will help shed light on the country’s problems.
“I do not want to say no to race, because I want to give people the benefit of the doubt in general. I want to give people a chance to progress.”
“Do Saudi Arabia and some countries in the Middle East share the same values and the same culture as Europe? They do not. Are they where we want them to be? No.”
“Is it possible to attract attention to this place by participating in Formula 1 racing, exposing these things and making this place a better place? I still think so.”
“I want to come here and shine the spotlight on that area, so she should be in a better position than saying ‘I’m not going, I do not want to hear about it’.”
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