For just ten years, Formula 1 was racing in Bahrain, a country where popular uprisings were on the agenda in the days of the GP. After the cancellation of the 2011 edition, it was feared that even that of 2012 could suffer repercussions with teams, drivers, professionals already present on the circuit. Eventually he ran.
It was also raced in Saudi Arabia a few days ago: in a Jeddah where, on Friday, a limit was reached beyond which one should honestly not go. I don’t think free practice has ever been seen with, in the background, the smoke of a missile attack 11 km away as the crow flies from the circuit and the smell that penetrates the pilots’ helmets.
From these pages I have always emphasized the non-necessity from a sporting point of view to go for a run in places that get the event on the basis of the escalation of the pay, or paying as much as possible. It is also evident that in my reasoning there is something romantically wrong since Formula 1, although I still try to consider it a real sport, has not been so for some time; even more so since Liberty Media has changed its connotations, making it a company with the ultimate goal of every company, to produce profits. Therefore, from a business point of view, ten-year renewals, lavish entrances, multi-million dollar contracts, the prospect of 30 races and so on are welcome that, within ten years, will transform F1 into a sort of traveling football championship. , geographically divided equally between America, Europe, Asia and the Emirates, with double races and maybe inverted grids to increase the show, in the worst sense of this term.
I believe that, however, there is a limit to everything, that is the safety of those who push this sport forward. Honestly, beyond the obvious reassurances of the Saudi government bodies, if I had been present in Jeddah a little constant thought about what was happening to a nothing from the track I would have had it. And the endless Friday night in the Paddock proved that there were sources of concern.
Now: in recent years we have seen a bit of all colors but we have always remained within the limits of “sport” and limited and limited criticism of the track, so to speak. But when you have to deal with serious matters like a missile crashing in sight no, that’s not good. The riders made it clear and I believe that, beyond the superficial declarations we witnessed over the weekend, basically everyone knows that there is a line that must not be crossed. And I hope that, in the coming months, the necessary assessments will be put in place in order to avoid similar episodes in the future. If it is true, as they say, that many countries are interested in having Formula 1, well… it is not enough to choose.