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Saudi sports minister: 'I am happy to engage with Hamilton'

Saudi sports minister: 'I am happy to engage with Hamilton'

2 April - 08:11 Last update: 09:16


Lewis Hamilton did not feel comfortable in Saudi Arabia and would leave the country as soon as possible after the race. His main objections over the weekend were to the violation of human rights and the threatening situation in Jeddah. Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal is happy to engage in talks with the F1 driver.

Hamilton objects to Saudi Arabia

When the Jeddah race was run last year , Hamilton already made his objections known. This weekend the Briton let it be known that he has not changed his mind. The missile attacks near the Jeddah Corniche Circuit created an imminent situation, which made Hamilton even more critical of the country. Prince Abdulaziz indicated that he is happy to engage with the seven-time world champion to learn from each other.

According to the prince/minister, the country wants to be as open as possible about problems that outsiders raise. According to Abdulaziz, this is also the reason why the country wants to organize such large international events; to show that they do not want to hide anything. Motorsport.com spoke with the minister. In that conversation, Abdulaziz said that the country could also have saved itself the trouble by keeping everyone out, but that they deliberately did not do that.

Hamilton welcome for conversation

Furthermore, the minister says that at both weekends run so far he has taken the time to talk to the drivers. Abdulaziz has also said to Hamilton that he is welcome to talk to him. In the conversation with Motorsport, the minister invited Hamilton again. Indeed, the Briton had complained of not being able to talk to anyone about the problems in the country.

Abdulaziz cites Sebastian Vettel as an example. The German took the time last year to get to know the locals by organizing a karting event for women. The minister thanked Vettel for that and said that it was especially wise to talk to the people to get to know the country, rather than to country's officials. The minister is looking forward to a good future for his country and thinks that there is still a lot to learn, but that not everything can be done at the same pace.

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