Lewis Hamilton was alerted about security this weekend at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah a year after a roadside shooting.
Yemeni rebels targeted a gas station near the Jeddah Street Circuit last year and drivers were grilled by reporters on Thursday about their state of nerves.
Last year’s Grand Prix was packed with meetings involving drivers and officials from Formula One and the governing body of the sport, the International Motoring Federation (FIA).
The drivers said they were told there was a ceasefire between Saudi Arabia and Yemen at the moment.
Many drivers say Formula One has made progress in improving safety but Saudi Arabia’s public human rights record has remained a largely ignored issue. .
“I can’t speak for the other 19 drivers, but in general I think we are happy and have no concerns with the changes that have been made since last time for this year,” George Russell it’s Mercedes.
“There are many lessons to be learned and F1 is very high – and not only here in Saudi but all the Grands Prix.”
Others including Haas’s Kevin Magnussen, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and McLaren’s Lando Norris expressed full faith in the sport’s management – a sentiment that was not shared. Mercedes has another driver: seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
When asked about his feelings about returning to the race in Saudi Arabia, he said: “There is not much to add – but it is the opposite of everything they said,” about Stroll and Perez spoke before him at a news conference.
“I hope everyone has a good weekend and I hope everyone returns safely when it’s over.
Speaking about last year, Magnussen said: “None of us liked it. But, I think it’s different now, with different rules and a tension between the two parties involved and that gives confidence.”
Perez said he was “happy to be back.”
Hamilton raised another issue – Saudi Arabia’s rights record.
“I still feel that a game that goes to places where there are human rights issues, like this, the game should be promoted and try to leave a positive impact.”
Human rights group Reprieve has accused F1 of being “completely indifferent to human rights and the way the sport is being used to distract attention from the abuses of some of the most brutal regimes in the world”. the world.”
According to the Director of Prisons, Maya Foa, at least 13 executions were carried out in Saudi Arabia in the last two weeks.
Formula One responded in a statement saying that it has clarified its “position on human rights and other issues to be clear to all our partners and host countries who are committed to respecting human rights in the way they host. and deliver their ads.”
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