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F1 | Domenicali: It’s F1’s “duty” to continue racing in Saudi Arabia to move the country in the right direction

Despite security and human rights concerns in relation to Saudi Arabian GP, the CEO of F1 Stefano Domenicali says Formula 1 will continue racing there. 

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F1 | Domenicali: It’s F1’s “duty” to continue racing in Saudi Arabia to move the country in the right direction
Fuente imagen: f1.com

Last week’s Saudi Arabian GP was nearly boycotted by the drivers, after a missile attacked was launched by Yemeni Houthis on Friday, targeting the Aramco oil refinery not more than 10 miles away from the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

The safety concerns were so high that a discussion between the bosses of F1 and the drivers continued into early hours on Saturday, after which the drivers were persuaded to continue racing. One of the conditions in order to race, was that the drivers will be further included into discussions in regards of Saudi Arabian GP’s future. 

Not long after the teams left Saudi Arabia, the CEO of Formula 1 Stefano Domenicali has made it clear that F1 will remain racing there, arguing it’s their “duty” to do so. As Domenicali said in an interview with SportsCenter: "I think that, as we discussed, the country has its own problem to grow, and sport, F1 in general, has the duty to make sure that maximising attention on what is happening, is happening in the right direction.

"We don't want to do politics, but for sure I do believe that the sport will help the country that wants to change its culture. It cannot happen from day to night, to be very important as a change.

"As F1 we need to do our duty to make sure something of such an importance can happen, and that's why we stay there. That's why we do believe that, working together, we can shape a better future in faster time.”

Formula 1 signed a GP contract with Saudi Arabia for 15 years, as well as a sponsorship deal with the state-owned oil company Aramco, who now also sponsors Aston Martin.

Already before the missile attack during the GP happened, many raised their concerns and criticised F1 for wanting to race there and ignoring the human rights concerns even shared by Amnesty International. Many expressed an opinion that Saudi Arabia is using GP as a PR stunt to deflect from their “dismal human rights record”. 

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