50 million to launder human rights in Arabia
Entering Formula 1 in an unknown dimension and of powerful diplomatic debate, Saudi Arabia, and nobody’s pulse is shaking because the main horizon of this sport is its sanctity, the dollar. But Saudi Arabia pays 50 million euros to host one race a year. It is the country with a battered reputation for human rights, where the woman is subject to male guardianship, represents 5 percent of the labor system and in 2018 he obtained a driving license and where the death penalty is a common method of justice. Surely the nation that pays the most for the canon to F1 owners. Arabia, which has already hosted the Dakar, Formula E, soccer Super Cups and golf tournaments, shows a very fast urban circuit, in which an average speed of 250 km / h is expected only lower than that of Monza, of a length only exceeded through Spa, 27 curves that are actually 6, which scares the riders because of the nearby walls and narrowness, which is run at night …
And that the construction was completed on Thursday afternoon, the final touches before the cars were launched on the track this Friday. Difficult to find more incentives.
The natural habitat of Formula 1 is a bubble without loopholes, in which fast or slow corners, downforce and tire mix prevail before the political or social situation of the twenty-something countries they visit or the living conditions of the population. There are usually no ethical dilemmas in F1Nor in the social upheavals of Bahrain, the favelas that surround Interlagos in Sao Paulo or the extreme poverty that surrounded the Buddh circuit in India.
Helmet for homosexuality
Nor will there be social dilemmas in Saudi Arabia, beyond the gestures that some pilots have carried out. Lewis Hamilton, who led the ‘Black Lives Matter’ crusade after George Floyd’s death and has the lives of his great-grandchildren resolved, has re-emerged above the thoughts of his colleagues . «¿Do I feel comfortable here? I wouldn’t say yes But it’s not my choice to be here My sport has made the decision to be here and if it is good or bad, I think the important thing while we are here is to raise awareness. He added: “We are obliged to ensure that we try to help raise awareness, in particular human rights in these countries that we visit, with the utmost respect. I don’t pretend to be the most knowledgeable or have the best understanding of someone who has grown up in a community like this and is very affected by certain rules.
The Briton, who is playing the title with Verstappen, will wear a helmet with the colors in favor of the homosexual collective, as it did in Qatar, a country where homosexuals are persecuted.
Sebastian Vettel has been concerned this year more than ever about equality issues and in Saudi Arabia promoted a girls-only karting on Thursday. Contrast with the norms of a country that has not allowed women to drive vehicles until three years ago. Facts and not just words. «There are many questions that everyone has asked and that I have asked myself. A lot of attention has always been paid to negative examples when talking about the shortcomings of certain countries when it comes to human rights, so I tried to think about the positive aspects.
Six women participated in the event and Vettel showed his empathy towards them. «The truth is that I was inspired by their stories, their background and the positivity about the change that is perceived in the country. If we look through a Western lens, there are still many things that need to be improved and addressed. But some things are changing and for these people there is a big difference.
Last minute works
The social and political peculiarities of the Saudi regime are not the only ingredients in a weekend that announces strong emotions, as was already appreciated yesterday with the tremendous accident of Charles Leclerc and the Ferrari smashed against a wall. The Formula 1 circuit has been built in nine months, from April to December, and in recent weeks it has generated many doubts as to whether it would be finished by this time. The track is there and the cars rolled at full speed, although the accesses were not. Some areas are still under construction, with operators working to set up a stage that has caused tension in the first rehearsals.
Mercedes performed a speed prediction on all 27 Jeddah curves and determined that 22 will be taken at over 200km / h, four will be taken at over 300km / h, and the slow three will be traded at around 100km / h. There is only one over 90 degrees. AND the average speed of the return to the track will exceed 250 km / h. The proximity of the walls ventures the presence of the safety car to the minimum accident during the race on Sunday.
A dangerous-looking circuit due to the narrowness and the nearby walls. “As a driver, you try not to think about this, but to trust the standards of the FIA. Yes we have spoken the pilots in that if there is a crash three seconds ahead of you, we are doing more than 250 km / h in each curve and there will not be time for us to react », says Carlos Sainz.
Checo Pérez thinks that «the track is really fast, I think it can scare, making a mistake in this place can be very costly ».