Abu Dhabi Grand Prix cancellation fears addressed by well-placed sources

Thomas Maher
Lights out at the race start of the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Lights out at the race start of the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Rumours regarding the potential cancellation of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have been overblown, PlanetF1.com understands.

Concerns over the safe running of the Abu Dhabi GP in the United Arab Emirates in light of the ongoing Israel-Hamas military conflict has resulted in rumours that the event – scheduled for the last weekend in November as F1’s season finale – could be called off.

PlanetF1.com understands from sources within some F1 teams that the topic of cancellation has been broached internally but also has been informed that such concerns have been overblown at this point.

UK Foreign Office updates terrorism threat level for United Arab Emirates

Last week, the UK’s Foreign Office updated their travel advisories for the United Arab Emirates, stating 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.”

Detailing incidents of missile and drone attacks into the UAE from Yemen throughout 2022, which included Houthi attacks on civilian facilities in Abu Dhabi and air defence force interceptions against other ballistic missiles, the advisory stated that “further attacks are likely.”

However, PlanetF1.com understands from well-placed sources with knowledge of the situation that this advisory from the UK Foreign Office, which brings the advice in line with that for residents of the likes of Belgium, Germany, France, and Bahrain – advice that has been unchanged for years – has led personnel within the paddock to believe the issue is major.

Sources have told PlanetF1.com that “all the teams are aware” that the advisory from the UK foreign office does not escalate the situation and that no conversations have been held regarding the potential cancellation of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The teams and all team bosses have been briefed on the details of the situation, including the information from the Foreign Office, where no concerns over the hosting of the race have been expressed.

PlanetF1.com has approached national authorities in the UAE, as well as representatives from the Yas Marina Circuit, for comment.

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