Dubai: Adverse weather conditions continued to frustrate race drivers and forcing part cancellation of one race at the season-opener of the UIM F1H2O World Championship at the Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia in Dammam on Friday.
After the practice sessions in the F4-S and F1 categories was called off on Thursday, authorities were left waiting on the weather after racing became impossible with winds of up to 30kph resulting in high waves on the Dammam corniche, on Friday.
Race officials, led by Prince Sultan Bin Fahad Bin Salman Al Saud, President, Saudi Arabia Water Sport and Diving Federation (SAWSDF), finally decided to cancel the official qualifying and all activity related to the F4-S category for the weekend.
However, after much debate, and taking into consideration the safety of the racers and the boats, organised decided to cancel all activity related to F4-S racing while keeping the doors open for the F1 race on Saturday.
“It is a very frustrating situation we are facing but our ultimate responsibility is the safety of the drivers. We expect the conditions to calm over the next 24 hours and we are provisionally looking to reschedule qualifying to tomorrow,” UIM Race Director Luis Ribeiro, said after yesterday’s postponement.
The fresh schedule will see a drivers’ briefing at 10.30am [11.30am UAE] followed by the actual running of the Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia from 4pm [5pm UAE]. Despite the alteration of the schedule, all activities scheduled to take place in the F1H2O Paddock will go ahead as usual.
Held under the guidance of Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Turki Al Faisal, Chairman, General Sports Authority, Saudi Arabia has been pushing to reinforce its position as a leading sports destination in the Middle East in line with its ‘Saudi Vision 2030’.