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Hamilton still not comfortable racing in Saudi Arabia

NEWS STORY
25/03/2022

Seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton admits that he remains uncomfortable racing in Saudi Arabia due to its human rights record.

Speaking just over three months ago, ahead of the inaugural Saudi Arabian race, the Briton told reporters: "Do I feel comfortable here? I wouldn't say I do. But it's not my choice to be here. The sport has taken the choice to be here."

Three months down the line, and in the wake of the news that 81 people were publicly executed in one day earlier this month, the Mercedes driver admits that his opinion hasn't changed.

"I don't really know what to say," he admitted to members of the media. "My position is still the same as when I spoke here last year.

"There's not really a lot that I can say that's going to make much of a difference," he continued. "It's obviously mind-blowing to hear the stories... I've heard that there's a letter sent to me from a 14-year-old that's on death row... When you are 14 you don't know what the hell you are doing in life, so it's...

"But we don't decide where we go," he added. "I think we are duty-bound to try (to raise awareness) while we are here, it's not necessarily our responsibility when we are brought here, but we try and do what we can.

"I think it's important that we try to educate ourselves and with the little bit of difference that we can make, make sure that we are doing something.

"But ultimately, it's the responsibility of those in power to make the changes. And we're not really seeing enough, so we need to see more.

"It shouldn't be our responsibility to do that," he replied when asked how F1 drivers can make a difference. "it is obviously naturally a very, very complex situation.

"But I'm always open to having discussion, to learning more, to try and understand exactly why the things that are happening are happening and why they are not changing.

"It's 2022 and it's easy to make changes, I'm open to doing that, I don't know who I'd have to speak to but I'd love that.

"I know Boris (Johnson) has been over here recently... I heard that human rights was raised during that, but what's been said, what's being done? I've not heard about that."

Check out our Friday gallery from Jeddah, here.

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1. Posted by kenji, 28/03/2022 3:06

"Memo to Hamilton....If you feel so strongly then ultimately you are free to withdraw your labour. Cost of doing that would be minimal given the size of your bank account. Money or morals?"

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