Amnesty International Accuses Saudi Government Of Using F1 To ‘Sportswash’ Itself

Opposition to the Saudi Arabian GP is fuelled by human rights abuses by the Saudi government and environmental concerns.

Earlier this week, F1 teams were issued a provisional calendar for next season, which includes a record-setting 23 races.

All of the original tracks that were scheduled for this season prior to COVID-19 wreaking chaos have been re-proposed for 2021, with the addition of one more: the Saudi Arabian GP to run on a street circuit around Jeddah.

READ: Mercedes Keen To Avoid One-Year Extension With Lewis Hamilton

Environmentalist groups and Amnesty International have spoken out against the planned 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Specifically, environmental advocates have expressed concerns over F1’s extensive commercial partnership with Saudi-owned Aramco, one of the largest petroleum companies in the world.

Meanwhile, a statement from Amnesty International put forth a number of other reasons against the new race, asserting “that a Saudi Grand Prix in 2021 would be part of ongoing efforts to sportswash the country’s abysmal human rights record,”

The statement went on to say: “If a Saudi Grand Prix goes ahead, at the very least F1 should insist that all contracts contain stringent labour standards across all supply chains, and that all race events are open to everyone without discrimination.”

This is by no means the first time a Formula One Grand Prix has been met with opposition.

The Azerbaijan and Bahrain Grand Prix both attracted criticism, and more recently the newly proposed Rio track was met with massive backlash due to concerns over its environmental impact. 

Article continues below

READ: ‘Lewis Is Definitely The Toughest’: Formula One’s Safety Car Driver Opens Up

Enjoyed reading this article? Consider sharing it: