Motor Sports

Former F1 driver Alex Yoong stranded in Tehran following missile attacks [NSTTV]

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's former Formula One driver Alex Yoong found himself stranded in Iran after his holiday there was marred by the threat of war.

Alex, 47, who is now in Tehran, couldn't return to Kuala Lumpur after Iran launched a massive aerial attack on Israel on Saturday.

Subsequently, flights to and from several Iranian airports, including Tehran's Imam Khomeini International, were cancelled until Monday morning.

When contacted by Timesport, Alex, who is the founder of driving academy, Axle Sports, said: "I've been in Iran for a week on holiday.

"We were scheduled to fly out yesterday (Saturday), so we were actually at the airport when the drones took off. Obviously, they were going to cancel the flights.

"When we drove back from the airport to the place where we were staying, we could see some of the rockets taking off. That was surreal."

Alex, who is with his Iranian girlfriend, Emitsa, said he saw many locals rushing to stock up on necessities and there were long lines of vehicles waiting to fuel up at petrol stations.

Alex said many Iranians seemed to be used to the tense situation. "I was thinking we need to leave this place as soon as possible, but Iranians are used to the tension and threats in the Middle East. They were very matter of fact about it.

"They advised me to ignore it, saying this will not blow up. We'll have a few days, at least before anything irrational happens. And that's what has happened, it has calmed down a little.

"We're hoping the flights will open up and we'll be out of here tomorrow or the day after tomorrow," said Alex.

On Saturday, Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles to attack Israel in retaliation for a deadly Israeli strike on Tehran's consulate in Damascus on April 1.

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