The FIA president, Jean Todt, said Formula 1 should not get involved in political matters.

Formula 1 is racing in Saudi Arabia this weekend, a heavily-criticized host country due to its multiple issues with human and LGBTQ+ rights.

Drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are raising awareness about these issues in the country, something which divides the F1 community on whether it’s the right thing to do or not. On top of this, multiple human rights groups are urging the sport to use its power to challenge such problems in Saudi Arabia.

FIA president Todt stepped in and shared his thoughts with CNBC regarding the situation, stating that Formula 1 should not get involved in political matters from the host countries.

“Motorsport has not to be used as a political platform. That is absolutely essential,” he said.

“Saying that going in certain countries where there are some doubts about the way things are occurring, we give the opportunity for people to talk, and I think we give some visibility to the countries. There is full freedom to anybody who wants to speak, who wants to demonstrate – they can do it.”

Todt explained that progress had been made in Saudi Arabia recently despite the current problems.

“Saudi Arabia until 2018 could not host one international event because women were forbidden to drive, now women can drive, so changes are occurring, but we should not get involved in political matters.”

Lewis Hamilton, who said was uncomfortable racing in Saudi Arabia, conceded that “the sport has taken a choice to be here.”

“And whether it’s right or wrong, while we are here, it’s important we do try to raise awareness.” He described the LGBTQ+ situation in the country as “terrifying.”

Founder and CEO of ASN Motorsports. From Balcarce, Argentina - I love motorsports, especially Formula 1, and through ASN I share my passion with the world.