Formula 1 adds Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in its 2021 calendar despite several human rights and lengthy schedule objections.
Formula 1 announced across its social platforms that it has joined hands with Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF) to add the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which will be held at Jeddah’s corniche.
“Saudi Arabia is a country that is rapidly becoming a hub for sports and entertainment with many major events taking place there in recent years and we are very pleased that Formula 1 will be racing there from next season.
“The region is hugely important to us and with 70% of the population of Saudi being under 30 we are excited about the potential to reach new fans and bring our existing fans around the world exciting racing from an incredible and historic location.
“We will be publishing our full provisional 2021 calendar in the coming weeks and this will be submitted to the World Motor Sport Council for approval.”
Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Faisal Al Saud, the Minister of Sport added: “Saudi Arabia is accelerating forward and the speed, energy, excitement of Formula 1 perfectly reflects the transformational journey the country is on.”
“As we’ve witnessed in recent years our people want to be at the very heart of the biggest moments in live sport and entertainment. And they don’t come any bigger than Formula 1.”
“No matter where in the world it’s held, Formula 1 is an event that brings people together to celebrate an occasion that goes far beyond sport. We look forward to sharing this unique experience and sharing Jeddah with the world. For many Saudis, this will be a dream come true.”
Human Rights disapproval
Formula 1 was already receiving massive criticism for announcing Aramco (a Saudi Arabian petrochemical company) as global partners and now adding Saudi Arabia as F1 destination highlights F1’s non-alignment with Human Rights groups, who are objecting this move.
Saudi Arabia is infamous for its human rights violations, be it reported lack of free speech, gender and religious discrimination, the middle-eastern state has been criticized for all.