Lewis Hamilton says F1 drivers are 'duty bound' to speak about issues in Saudi Arabia 4 months ago

Lewis Hamilton says F1 drivers are 'duty bound' to speak about issues in Saudi Arabia

'I think we're duty bound to try and do what we can'

Lewis Hamilton has insisted that Formula 1 drivers are "duty bound" to raise awareness of issues in Saudi Arabia and suggested that he is "open" to meeting those in authority to try and make positive changes in the country.

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Jeddah will host the second race of the 2022 F1 season this weekend, with the Saudi Arabian GP coming just weeks after the kingdom carried out 81 executions in a one day.

While Hamilton stated that it is not up to the drivers to choose where to race, he has called for more changes in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking before first practice on Friday, the 37-year-old said: "We don't decide where we go, and I think we're duty bound to try and do what we can.

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"It's not necessarily our responsibility that we're brought here but we try and do what we can, and I think it's important that we just try to educate ourselves.

"Ultimately it's the responsibility of those in power to really make changes, and we're not really seeing any. So we need to see more."

Hamilton Saudi Arabia

The Brit previously said he was "not comfortable" racing in Saudi

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In November, the Mercedes driver said that he was "not comfortable" racing in Saudi when F1 raced in the country for the first time in history.

Hamilton has insisted that his "position is still the same" as last year, adding: "There's not really a lot I can say that's going to make any difference," the seven-time world champion stated. "It's obviously mind-blowing to hear the stories.

"I've heard that there's a letter being sent to me by a 14-year-old that's on death row. 14! You don't know what the hell you're doing in life."

It is thought that the Brit could be referring to a letter sent to him by Abdullah al-Howaiti, who, as reported by The Guardian, was arrested aged 14 and sentenced to death in 2019 when 17 years old.

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Hamilton was also asked whether he would be willing to go "a step further" in trying to drive change by meeting those in authority.

Hamilton Saudi Arabia

Hamilton 'open' to meeting those in authority

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Although he admitted that "it shouldn't be our responsibility to have to do that", Hamilton claimed he was "open" to doing so.

He said: "It is, naturally, a very very complex situation.

"But I'm always open to having a discussion to learning more, to try to understand exactly why the kind of things that are happening here are happening, why are they not changing. Because it's 2022 - it's easy to make changes.

"I'm open to doing it. I don't know who I'd have to speak to, exactly.

"I know that Boris [Johnson, UK Prime Minister] has been over here recently. I'm aware that human rights was raised but I've not heard what was said, or what's being done."

Hamilton secured a surprise podium at Formula 1's season opener in Bahrain last weekend, which provided him with renewed belief that he can fight for a record eighth world title.

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