Site logo

Drivers will be free to speak their minds in Qatar

NEWS STORY
27/10/2021

Qatar boss assures drivers that they will be free to "speak their minds" at the forthcoming Grand Prix, insisting that they are "free to say whatever they want to say".

With many already objecting to Saudi Arabia's inclusion on the F1 calendar - something that even Ross Brawn was saying wouldn't happen as recently as 2018 - the news that Qatar was also to be brought on board caused many to question the sport's attitude towards human rights.

Though the sport constantly assures us of its dedication to human rights through its various initiatives, including We Race As One, many question how this sits alongside the questionable records of nations such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Brought in to replace the cancelled Australian Grand Prix, before a wheel had even turned at the Losail circuit a ten year deal had been agreed which will see Qatar join the schedule from 2023.

With many wondering about the reaction should drivers seek to express their concern over human rights over the Qatar weekend, Abdulrahman Al Mannai, president of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation insists that this will not be an issue.

"We are happy to support the drivers to speak their minds on their platforms," he tells France's AFP. "We don't see it as an issue in Qatar because they're free to say whatever they want to say."

Following the controversial decision to award Qatar the World Cup, which takes place next year, and for which David Beckham was recently brought on board as an 'ambassador, in a reputed £150m deal, other than the country's reputation for human rights, there has been fierce criticism over the working conditions for those building the various facilities required for the tournament, with talk of over 6,000 deaths since work began ten years ago.

In response, Qatar has introduced a minimum wage of $1.30 (£0.95) an hour, while removing the rule that prevented workers from changing employers and also scrapping exit permit requirements.

"We're trying to maximise the occasion, we're trying to add more to the Formula One event," says Mannai. "I think we will see some nice surprises during the weekend of the Formula One.

"We're expecting it to be full," he said of next month's race, which precedes the Saudi Arabian and Abu Dhabi rounds, "because ever since we announced the Formula One the demand has been off the charts.

"We stepped in at short notice," he continues, "we wanted to help, but at the same time, we also wanted to have a long-term relationship with Formula One.

"Having several rounds in the region is a fantastic opportunity, especially for younger people who love motorsports. And having several rounds in the region is a way to inspire young people to get into the sport and practice it."

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by The stogie, 05/11/2021 17:16

"'We're expecting it to be full'? Now THAT's funny!! Let's see how close they can get to COTA's 400,000!!"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by zoom, 31/10/2021 12:36

"It's all about the money. As my dad used to say talk is cheap. "We race as one" is a case in point--empty words to make themselves feel so righteous. Nope, I'm not "woke" just calling out rampant hypocrisy. "

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by kenji, 28/10/2021 13:15

"@ Roli...What makes you think that people who tune in to watch the Qatar GP give a WTF about where it is? Yes, there will be a small amount of locale shots and some local facts but that's how it should be. It's the race that most . people will be watching and hopefully enjoying. Then there will be those 'wokies' who are determined to infest the medium with their protestations and who are not interested in the racing, just interested in their narrow interpretation of what they can dredge up. We only have your word for it, but are you absolutely sure that you won't just sneak a furtive peek at the race? I'd be pretty certain though that you'll pounce on the results ASAP...no? I for one will enjoy the racing and leave the politics out..."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Roli, 28/10/2021 9:59

"I cannot see why people think that its ok to help promote a country with no morals, no heed to anyone's rights and to ignore any law. F1 should think hard as to what message they are sending out. I , for one will not watch or follow the GP there, this year and the next 20 years"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 27/10/2021 15:53

"The sponsors of the teams and drivers are will remind both to temper their statements over the weekend."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 27/10/2021 13:30

"I am sure all involved will adhere to the corporate line."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by kenji, 27/10/2021 13:10

"It would appear 'prima facie' that those F1 types who want to live according to principles of the 'cancel culture' have been given carte blanche to speak out, without let or hinder whilst enjoying their freedom of expression in Qatar. I am looking forward to seeing just how far those who've already nailed their colours to the F1 mast are prepared to go. Could be a fascinating as the actual race...even more so!"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by Max Noble, 27/10/2021 10:58

"Let’s see how that all plays out… The dynamics of capitalism, self-promotion, sports-washing, freedom of the elites, and do what you want, and pay the price later, are all set for a glorious meeting. As ever F1 delivers action both on, and off track."

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2021. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms