This Woman Celebrated the End of Saudi Arabia’s Driving Ban By Getting Behind the Wheel of an F1 Race Car


This Woman Celebrated the End of Saudi Arabia's Driving Ban By Getting Behind the Wheel of an F1 Race Car

This week women across Saudi Arabia have been celebrating the end of the country’s bizarre ban on female drivers, but Aseel Al-Hamad has taken things one step further. The businesswoman, who was the first woman to join the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation, commerated the historic moment in style by getting behind the wheel of a Lotus Renault E20 and driving it around the Circuit Paul Ricard before Sunday’s race at the French Grand Prix.

The car was the same one Finnish driver Kimmi Raikkonen used to win the Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi back in 2012, and was amongst other Renault models in the manufacturer’s “Passion Parade” event.

Driving an F1 car was a life-long dream for Al-Hamad, who said in a statement: “I have loved racing and motorsport from a very young age and to drive a Formula One car goes even beyond my dreams and what I thought was possible,”

“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.”

The ban on women driving was lifted by royal decree on Sunday. Prior to 17th June 2018, Saudi Arabia had been the last country in the world to hold such a law. The ban was seen as a symbol of oppression in the conservative country, which severely impedes the rights of women more than men.

Many Saudi women have since converted their foreign licences and made the most of driving around their home country for the first time.

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Sophie Lloyd

Sophie is a cute feminist butterfly navigating the world one kitty meme at a time, or at least that’s how her best friend described her when she asked for help writing this bio. She likes cheese and one day hopes to be the proud owner of a corgi. For more of her random ramblings, follow her on Twitter/Instagram @_sophofbread.

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