NEEDS TO CHANGE
Lewis Hamilton says he is not comfortable being in Saudi Arabia for the country’s first ever F1 race due to their poor human rights record.
Once again, the sport’s reigning champion was the one who spoke out after making a poignant statement on his arrival at the paddock in Jeddah.
He said: “I feel the sport, and we are duty-bound, to ensure we try and raise awareness for certain issues, especially human rights in the countries we are going to.
“With the utmost respect for everyone that is here, I have had a warm respect from everyone on the ground.
“I can’t pretend to ever be the most knowledgeable or [have the] deepest understanding of anyone who has grown up in the community here that is heavily affected by so many rules and regimes.
“Do I feel comfortable here? I wouldn’t say I do, but it is not my choice to be here. The sport has taken the choice to be here and whether it is right or wrong, I think while we are here it is important we do try and raise awareness.
“For example, in the last race you saw the helmet that I wore and I will wear that again here and in the next race because that is an issue and is a law.
“If anyone wants to take the time to read what the law is for the LGBT+ community, it is pretty terrifying and there are changes that need to be made, for example women’s rights and being able to drive in 2018 — it is how they are policed.
“Are they really in effect? Why are some of the women still in prison from driving many, many years ago? There is a lot of change that needs to happen and our sport needs to do more.”