Lewis Hamilton finds the laws for women and the LGBTQ+ community in Saudi Arabia “terrifying” and will continue to spread awareness.

Details:

  • F1 arrived in Saudi Arabia this week for the first ever Grand Prix in the country.
  • Saudi Arabia is known to have harsh laws towards women and LGBTQ+ community.
  • For instance, relations between the same sex is considered as a crime in Saudi Arabia. This could be punishable by flogging, imprisonment and even execution if caught more than once.
  • Lewis Hamilton wore the pride flag on his crash helmet during the Qatar GP. Despite the laws in place, he plans to continue doing so for the Saudi Arabian GP.

What he had to say:

  • “As I said at the last race, I feel that the sport and we are duty bound to make sure that we try to help raise awareness for certain issues that we see, particularly human rights, in these countries that we’re going to.”
  • “Do I feel comfortable here? I would say I do. But it’s not my choice to be here. The sport has taken a choice to be here.”
  • “Whether it’s right or wrong, I think whilst we are here, again, I feel like it’s important that we do try to raise awareness. So in the last race, for example, you saw the helmet that I wore. 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 go and read what the law is for the LGBTQ+ community, it’s pretty terrifying. There’s changes that need to be made.”
  • Discussing instances of harsh women’s rights, he said: “For example, women’s rights of being able to drive [since] 2018. Some of the women are still in prison from driving many, many years ago.”
  • “So there’s a lot of change that needs to happen, and I think our sport needs to do more.”

I am a 17-year-old motorsport fan and writer who possesses a strong passion for machines that go fast. I am from Australia but I aspire to be a journalist covering motor racing series and events all over the globe.