F1: Most People Did Not See This History Made at the French Grand Prix
Saudi Arabia’s Aseel Al Hamad drove a F1 car in France last Sunday marking the end of the driving ban on women in her country.
In a historic move, Saudi Arabia week lifted the ban on women driving in the country. While several women are already driving on the streets of Riyadh, while another Saudi Arabian woman, Aseel Al Hamad made history on an F1 track in the South of France.
On Sunday, 24 June the same day that woman in Saudi Arabia could start driving, Aseel got behind the wheel of a F1 car in a symbolic lap around the Le Castellet circuit ahead of the start of the French Grand Prix.
“I have loved racing and motorsport from a very young age and to drive a Formula 1 car goes even beyond my dreams and what I thought was possible. It is a genuine honor to drive the Renault Sport Formula One Team E20 car in front of the crowds at its home Grand Prix in France.
I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and spirit to dream,” said Aseel on her Instagram page.
The Renault car that Aseel got into was the same 1 that Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) champion Kimmi Raikkonen drove to victory at the 2012 Abu Dhabi GP.
Apart from being on the Women in Motorsport Commission established by the International Automobile Federation (FIA), Formula One’s governing body, she is also the 1st female member of the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation.
The President of the FIA, Jean Todt, was at the circuit as well. He posted an image of himself with Aseel at the track to his 16-K followers on Twitter.
He added, “Driving authorization for women effective today in Saudi Arabia is a major step forward for women’s rights, mobility and women in Motorsport, which calls for more.”
Aseel’s symbolic act may mean that a woman taking the wheel at an actual F1 race is inevitable some day soon.
By Varun Godinho
Paul Ebeling, Editor
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