Ocon ‘happy’ to return to Saudi Arabia with safety guarantees RaceFans

Contents: Esteban Ocon says he would be “very happy” to race again in Saudi Arabia.

In short

Ocon would be ‘very happy’ to return to Saudi Arabia with security guarantees

Esteban Ocon said he would be “very happy” to race in Saudi Arabia again in the future if Formula 1 and the Saudi government could offer the same assurances on safety.

Last month’s race in Jeddah was marred by a missile strike on a nearby oil factory during Friday’s testing, leading to a meeting of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association over whether the pilots were running. The drivers agreed to race after being assured that the rest of the event would be safe.

“For Saudi Arabia, of course, there were concerns, obviously,” Ocon said. “We spoke at length with all the drivers but once we spoke to the authorities and Formula 1 they reassured us that there was no danger for us and that we were all safe.

“So we were really happy to race in the future. Of course, if it’s the same, I’m very happy to go back to Jeddah and to continue to participate in the races on the calendar and to trust the FIA ​​and to Formula 1 for our safety.”

Young drivers ‘don’t need academies to shine’ – Michel

Young drivers in junior formulas don’t need to be part of F1 driver academies to succeed, says Formula 2 and Formula 3 boss Bruno Michel.

A large proportion of Formula 2 and Formula 3 drivers belong to junior driver programs of F1 teams. However, F2 championship leader Felipe Drugovich and third-placed Richard Verschoor are not.

“I think it shows one thing for sure, that you don’t need to be part of an academy to shine,” Michel said. “It’s not automatic and the reason most of the time the academy drivers shine is because the academies try to recruit the best drivers.

“If they’re doing a good job – and most of them are doing a very solid job – they certainly have good drivers in their academies. Now you sometimes have drivers who aren’t in an academy and who do a very good job. I think it proves that you don’t have to be in an academy to do a good job. You have to be strong. Will it be more of a problem for them to going to Formula 1 in the future? That’s the real question they have to ask themselves, because when you’re part of an academy, it’s quite automatic.

Saucy fastest on day one of F3 test

ART’s Gregoire Saucy topped the times in Barcelona

FIA Formula 3 rookie Grégoire Saucy was fastest of all on day one of testing in Barcelona.

The ART driver set the best time in 1’32.247, almost two tenths of a second faster than Franco Colapinto for Van Amersfoort. Victor Martins was third fastest in the second of three ART cars, with Trident’s Zane Maloney fourth fastest. Prema driver Arthur Leclerc, second in the championship, finished 14th.

The second and final day of testing will take place today, before Formula 3 joins F2 and Formula 1 at Imola next weekend for their third and fourth rounds of the championship.

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