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F1 stars reveal they were unanimously AGAINST racing at the controversial Saudi Arabian GP but felt pushed into it

SCARED F1 drivers were unanimously AGAINST racing at Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

And they were only persuaded to continue after lengthy discussions with team bosses and F1 bosses.

Lewis Hamilton and his fellow Formula One drivers were AGAINST the race at Sunday's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton and his fellow Formula One drivers were AGAINST the race at Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand PrixCredit: Alamy

There are claims some felt compelled to attend Saturday’s qualifying session, which was overshadowed by Haas ace Mick Schumacher’s 170-mile crash.

Red Bull star Sergio Perez admitted that drivers were “concerned for our safety” after Friday’s shock rocket attack by the Houthi rebels at an oil depot just six miles from the circuit.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: “Everyone is free to make a decision and if a team member decides not to drive they are free to do so.

“The riders were pretty much in agreement in their initial conversations, but then we were able to convince them that racing was the best thing to do.

“The drivers are stakeholders of the sport but we want to avoid a situation like yesterday where we didn’t know if the race was going or not.”

The shocking developments took place here in the paddock early on Saturday morning, where the drivers were locked in a briefing for more than four hours.

It came after the rocket attack took place in the middle of Friday practice and fears grew that the race would also be targeted.

Drivers, still in racing suits, debated the issue before team bosses, F1 and local officials stepped in to convince them otherwise.

On Saturday evening, the drivers kept their conversations covered.

However, SunSport understands that following the agreement to take today’s race across the finish line, the drivers will meet with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali to express concerns about the race in Saudi Arabia.

But the Italian downplayed the strike threat, adding: “I don’t think the word boycott is the right word because we’re not here to be in two categories. We are here as a family like F1.”

Lewis Hamilton was questioned about the possible boycott and said: “I’m not here to comment on that.

“We work together as a group. We talked about it and made a decision.”

Similarly, pole sitter Sergio Perez said he feared for his own safety when he learned of the rocket attacks.

He added: “We were worried about our safety and also about the mechanics and engineers.

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“We felt like going ahead and racing was the right thing to do.”

Even after the dust had settled, Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto admitted his two drivers were NOT happy with the Jeddah race.

When asked by SunSport if his riders are fully behind the planned race, he said: “I don’t think we said that they were 100 percent happy and completely relaxed.”

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4985725/f1-stars-against-racing-saudi-grand-prix/ F1 stars reveal they were unanimously AGAINST racing at the controversial Saudi Arabian GP but felt pushed into it

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