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5 Nov 2020

Giles Richards, The Guardian (UK)

Human rights groups urge driver action over F1 race in Saudi Arabia

Human rights groups have condemned the confirmation that Formula One is to hold a race in Saudi Arabia next year. The country’s human rights record has been described by Amnesty International as “heinous” and it and Human Rights Watch have characterised the event as a blatant attempt at sportswashing to legitimise the country’s repressive regime...

F1 made a public commitment to equality this year, launching its “we race as one” initiative to promote inclusivity and diversity across race, gender and sexuality within the sport. However, in November last year Amnesty condemned an announcement issued by Saudi Arabia’s state security agency categorising feminism, homosexuality and atheism as “extremist ideas”...

When asked last week about the prospect of a GP in Saudi Arabia, Lewis Hamilton, who has been strident in his campaign for diversity and equality in F1, said he would need to find out more abut the regime before making a judgment.