Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ‘not at risk’ of cancellation amid Israel-Hamas war, says Formula 1
The Foreign Office says 'the risk of terrorist attacks happening in the UAE is very likely.'
The Yas Marina circuit in the United Arab Emirates is due to host the final grand prix of 2023 from 24th – 26th November.
However, rumours have begun to speculate that the race could be called off due to safety concerns that have been raised due to the escalating conflict in the Middle East.
Such speculation has stemmed from a UK Foreign Office update last Sunday, that warned British tourists that: ‘Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in the UAE.
‘Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. There is a possibility of an increased threat against Western interests, including against UK citizens.’
It should be said however that the same advice is currently issued for several other countries including Belgium and Bahrain which held F1 races earlier this year.
And, contrary to what was initially thought, Sky Sports report that the updated guidance is not related to the conflict in Israel and Gaza,
As such, F1 has looked to quell the rumour mill, with a spokesperson briefing teams on the matter and assuring them that the race is ‘not at risk’ of cancellation.
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The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix first joined the calendar in 2009 and has almost always held the season finale ever since, despite being one of the worst tracks in the eyes of drivers and fans.
2023 has already seen two races called off, namely China due to ongoing COVID-19 issues and the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola because of severe flooding in the Italian region.
It would not be the first time that conflict in the Middle East has called off an F1 grand prix, with the 2011 season opener in Bahrain cancelled due to civil unrest in the country, while last year’s event in Saudi Arabia was affected by a missile strike near the track.
There are just three races left for this year, starting with Brazil this weekend, followed by the new Las Vegas Grand Prix and then Abu Dhabi.
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