This is the Jeddah Week! Today, the free practice sessions of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be held. All the drivers are headed to the oil city but with fears of getting caught by fire. After the incident of 2022, everyone is a little hesitant to say that I am safe in Saudi. The drivers who saw a fire explosion just near the track last year do not feel safe coming back. Yet, with the assurances given by the authorities and F1 bosses, the 20 drivers are somehow relieved and putting all their focus on the tracks instead of the Yemeni rebel attack that may or may not happen.
From the most popular driver of Formula One to the least have reflected on their stress before racing in the Jeddah circuit. Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton who often speaks on political issues is a little concerned this time too. He denies elaborating on the matter but ends up concluding that the duty bounds to raise awareness as it puts human rights under threat. On the other hand, the Haas driver Kevin Magnussen emerged to speak. He said, “None of the drivers enjoyed the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.”
The Drivers Have To Believe In The Saudi Authority This Time
On Thursday, during the media interaction, each one of the drivers shared how they felt about the disrupted last year’s Jeddah race. Esteban Ocon, the driver of the Alpine team, concedes that Yemen’s wrathful attack on Saudi last year near the F1 track is “scary.” He never wants to experience anything like that. However, there is faith in the authority that this time the driver’s safety is not at risk.
Next comes Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll from Aston Martin, who manages to stay strong by keeping their trust in the officials. Both agreed to believe in F1 and human rights groups, who have assured a positive change in the fierce rivalry between the two countries. Anyway, there is nothing else they can do. As Kevin Magnussen said, all that the drivers can do at present is “go to these places, and deal with it the best way you can and get through.”
Lewis Hamilton Did Not Protest Because The Saudi GP Would Go On Without Him Anyway
Meanwhile, if you wonder why Lewis Hamilton did not do anything like a protest against the Saudi Arabiab grand Prix, know that he did not because he could not. Becoming the last driver to admit the fire cease as a threat to driver’s life, Hamilton claimed, “I do not want to get into either [to participate in such place].” The one reason why the Briton does not deny racing in Jeddah is “If I am not here, Formula One will continue on without me,” he said.
In this situation, Hamilton can only learn as much as possible. However, he stands totally against going to the places where Human Rights face issues. Mentioning the Yemen attack particularly, the Briton admitted, “We need to do more things in order to raise awareness of things that these people are struggling with.”
Given this, several human rights associations have alleged Formula One for not being serious about focusing on human rights in sports. Reprieve’s director Maya Foa [a human rights group] said, “The pageantry of F1 will distract from the bloodshed.” Meanwhile, F1 officials have assured full safety. They acknowledged taking responsibility seriously this time to protect human rights.