A Saudi woman drives F1 in a historic day

LE CASTELLET, France (Reuters) – Aseel Al-Hamad declared on Sunday the beginning of a new era for Saudi women in motorsports as he prepared to drive a Formula One car on the French Grand Prix circuit to thousands of fans.

PHOTO OF ARCHIVE – F1 Formula 1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – April 8, 2018 Saudi Arabian Motor Federation President of the Aseel Al Hamad Female Drivers Association REUTERS / Hamad I Mohammed

The return of Le The track of Paul Ricard de Castellet, in a Lotus Renault E20 car of 2012 winner of a race, came the day the ban ended with the drivers getting behind the wheel on the roads of the Kingdom of the Gulf.

"I believe that today not only is the new era of women who are beginning to drive celebrated, it is also the birth of women in motor sports in Saudi Arabia," Al-Hamad told Reuters in the hospitality of Renault .

"The most important thing I'm looking forward to is starting to see the next generation, young girls, trying (motor sports)," he said.

"I want to see them train and take the sport very seriously as a race, this is really going to be my greatest achievement."

Sunday was not the first time that Al-Hamad was driving a Formula One car, the interior designer and the Saudi businesswoman testing it on the circuit on June 5 as part of a familiarization day.

But that was private, while Sunday was very public as part of the parade of the historic cars of the French manufacturer to mark the return of Formula One to France after an absence of 10 years.

The car took 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, now at Ferrari, to victory in Abu Dhabi in November 2012.


"I never imagined it in my dreams, so the opportunity was incredible "He said about his first exit. "That day I thought it was the only life experience, and they invited me again."

"It is a great honor for me to share with them the celebration and pbadion for Renault.

"I think the beauty of this story is that everything is possible, even if you dream the impossible, you can still achieve it," he said.

Al-Hamad is already the first female member of the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation and the Women in Sports Commission created by the governing body of Formula One, the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

She is also the first woman to import a Ferrari to Saudi Arabia, and has taken her 458 Spider to racing circuits around the world to participate in the days of tracks, workshops and professional careers.

When asked if there would be Saudi female competitors now, he replied: "Sure, definitely, and this is going to be my mission in Saudi Arabia.

" Thanks to Renault, with this gesture I can be an ambbadador to push it further in Saudi Arabia.

"The Women in Motorsport Commission is encouraging participation in all sectors of motorsports, including runners, engineers, mechanics and marshals," he said, adding that he could also see Saudi women working in F1.

"The beautiful thing is that motorsport is not a divided sport, so women can compete equally with everyone, we just have to dream of having more women in all the sectors of motor racing."

Michele Mouton, former rally driver and president of the FIA ​​commission, said in a statement that she hoped that Al-Hamad's example would help pave the way for more Saudi women to get involved.

Women in Saudi Arabia were able to take to the streets at midnight, putting an end to the latest global ban on female drivers, long considered an emblem of the repression of women in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom.

The uprising, ordered last September by King Salman, is part of radical reforms driven by his powerful son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in an attempt to transform the economy of the world's leading oil exporter and open its society cloistered.

Alan Baldwin's report, edition of Amlan Chakraborty


Source link