Lewis Hamilton expressed his reluctance to race in Saudi Arabia, saying that he doesn’t feel comfortable with human rights issues surrounding the place.
Hamilton will be racing in Saudi Arabia for the first time in his career. The country has a history of having a sketchy human rights record. One of those laws have been LGBTQIA+ intolerance, something that is scary in this and age.
Progressiveness is the need of the hour, but countries like Saudi Arabia set it back by many years. It is the same situation in Qatar, where the seven-time champion raced with a rainbow-coloured helmet to raise awareness. He will be doing the same in Jeddah.
Hamilton expressed his reluctance to race in Saudi Arabia, and revealed how shocked he was to hear about some of the rules.
As quoted by Sky News, he said, “Do I feel comfortable here? I wouldn’t say that I do.
“But it’s not my choice to be here. The sport has taken the choice to be here.
“There’s changes that need to be made. For example women’s rights of being able to drive in 2018, it’s how they are policed. Some of the women are still in prison from driving many, many years ago.
“So there’s a lot of changes that need to happen and I think our sport needs to do more.”
Sporting winds of change
Hamilton’s thoughts were echoed by fellow driver Sebastian Vettel, who insisted that change had to be made irrespective of circumstances.
“Some things are not going the way they should,” he said.
“For sure there are shortcomings and they have to be addressed, but I still feel the more powerful tool is the positive weapon.”
Read more: Hamilton turns down Mercedes’ request to test 2022 car on simulator