Saudi Arabia does not claim to 'sportswash' by hosting F1 GP

25-11-2020 15:43 | Updated: 25-11-2020 16:49
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Saudi Arabia does not claim to 'sportswash' by hosting F1 GP

Formula 1 will visit Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2021. Many fans are sceptical about the decision to race in the Middle East country. The country itself says that they are not trying to improve their image by organising sports events.

New Grand Prix

In Saudi Arabia, a brand new street circuit is being planned in the country's second-largest city, Jeddah. There, the Grand Prix will probably be organised twice before the venue moves to Qiddiya, where a permanent circuit will be constructed.

By bringing in the Grand Prix, many fans think that the country wants to improve its image by means of the so-called 'sports washing'. Saudi Arabia is known for its issues with its human rights record. The chairman of the Saudi Motorsport Association tried to reassure fans that the sport heading to Saudi Arabia is a good thing.

Open to all

"We definitely had a conversation on that. And I know, maybe this is a thing that a lot of people talk about with Saudi Arabia, but we are not like the other countries. We know that we are different. We have our culture. There are things that people can do in other places that they can't do here. But we respect our differences, and we are opening our country to anyone," said Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Faisal according to Motorsport.com. Saudi Arabia has hosted Formula E in recent years and since last year the Dakar Rally has been held there.

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