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Old 30 Nov 2021, 20:28 (Ref:4086056)   #2881
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OK, rather than criticise the past. @Derwent - what should any driver on the F1 grid do, that would meet your approval?
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Old 30 Nov 2021, 20:50 (Ref:4086058)   #2882
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Clearly Lewis should quit the sport, give all of his money away and withdrawal from society in protest of any number of things.

On a serious note. It is a tough question. I am generally too much of a self absorbed youngster (and not following F1) during the tail end of anti-apartheid boycotts (including sporting events) in/with respect to South Africa. But I would have supported not racing in South Africa if I had really been paying attention.

I am of mixed mind that on one hand sports can be a unifying item that should be above politics. On the other hand, I think boycotts can work and are more about $$$ than anything. The problem is that F1 is as much about "business" as it is about "sport". So it puts F1 in a tough position in that it probably should say "no" to events in specific locations. Where you draw the line as to go/no go is a tough one.

I think the drivers are doing a fine job at calling out and supporting causes that are important to them. I think in a way, drivers can thumb their noses in ways that F1 can't. Imagine if F1 was to have come down on Lewis for his helmet. That would not have played well. But if any driver does something that does make a statement, F1 can support it (and make a small statement) by not stamping it out. F1 can potentially be a bit of a traveling and subversive circus.

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Old 30 Nov 2021, 21:52 (Ref:4086064)   #2883
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To me, racing in these countries is abhorrent, but just what do you think that the drivers can do, unless all of them do it at the same moment. Mr Derwent may have overlooked the fact that the teams have a binding contract with the FIA and FOM to compete in all the races that are part of the World Championship. And the drivers have binding contracts that they must drive, subject to not having illnesses or injuries, at all the races that the teams are deemed to have to compete in.

If Hamilton failed to race he would likely be sued, and it certainly wouldn't please his employer to say the least. And I would imagine that Mercedes have a lot of customers in those places so they have a lot to lose.
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Old 30 Nov 2021, 23:10 (Ref:4086074)   #2884
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While it may seem like simple things, just a helmet or tshirt, i certainly wouldn't wear a protest message in public like that in the Kindgom, or Qatar, or China.

Would you?

im sorry, but these days, thats pretty brave imo and a lot more then what im doing!

curious how much any driver message will feature as part of the official world feed portion of the race?
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Old 30 Nov 2021, 23:53 (Ref:4086075)   #2885
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This Grand Prix is just another part of the Saudi sport wash.Newcastle United and the proposed Saudi financed golf tour are 2 others.
Sport boycotts are effective when combined with economic sanctions.See South Africa.However when other sanctions are weak or non existent sport boycotts on their own have a limited effect.
Saudi Arabia needs to join China,Russia and Azerbaijan in a list of countries international sport would do well to avoid if only to not give tacit support to those regimes and not cause themselves reputational damage.However it is hard to be too critical when governments are unwilling to take strong action against them.
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Old 1 Dec 2021, 07:20 (Ref:4086090)   #2886
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Of course it's not helped when the powers that be just shrug their shoulders at the problem. The fact is by linking up with countries that have questionable human rights you are only playing into their hands. Sportswashing at it's finest. F1 and other sports should have a rethink
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Old 1 Dec 2021, 08:10 (Ref:4086097)   #2887
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The whole Gulf state F 1 show is a disgrace, and has been for years. The only reason F 1is there is the hideous amounts of cash one state will pay to show off to its local rivals . There is no local motorsport scene of any note, the tracks are uniformly dire (with Qatar reaching a new nadir ) and hardly any locals actually turn out to watch. Even that pales into insignificance besides these joke countries appalling , medieval regimes , dismal human rights record , suppression of press freedom and barbaric criminal punishments.

As for Saudi - the country in whose embassy was killed the dissenter Jamal Khashoggi , and with the finger of suspicion pointing at very high places...

Matthew Hedges, banged up for life in Dubai just before the GP in 2018 , with no lawyer , no fair trial - and all F1 could worry about was tyre deg. with not a word said. Easy enough to virtue signal elsewhere, with black armbands where it suits but the cat got their tongues in the Gulf . Can't think why ...
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Old 1 Dec 2021, 08:50 (Ref:4086101)   #2888
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The whole Gulf state F 1 show is a disgrace, and has been for years. The only reason F 1is there is the hideous amounts of cash one state will pay to show off to its local rivals . There is no local motorsport scene of any note, the tracks are uniformly dire (with Qatar reaching a new nadir ) and hardly any locals actually turn out to watch. Even that pales into insignificance besides these joke countries appalling , medieval regimes , dismal human rights record , suppression of press freedom and barbaric criminal punishments.

As for Saudi - the country in whose embassy was killed the dissenter Jamal Khashoggi , and with the finger of suspicion pointing at very high places...

Matthew Hedges, banged up for life in Dubai just before the GP in 2018 , with no lawyer , no fair trial - and all F1 could worry about was tyre deg. with not a word said. Easy enough to virtue signal elsewhere, with black armbands where it suits but the cat got their tongues in the Gulf . Can't think why ...
Normally (as in, years ago), I would disagree and say it isn't F1s place to police such things. However, I changed my opinion when F1 started its #WeRaceAsOne campaign and it made it part of the sport.

It's very difficult to say we're all equal, and then go to a country where W Series wouldn't even be allowed to run.
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Old 1 Dec 2021, 09:02 (Ref:4086107)   #2889
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However, I changed my opinion when F1 started its #WeRaceAsOne campaign and it made it part of the sport.
If the tagline is #WeRaceAsOne - then does that not automatically mean that any stand has to be #WeDon'tRaceAsOne?
We can't expect any single driver to take action unless the whole F1 circus decides to not race.
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Old 1 Dec 2021, 09:26 (Ref:4086110)   #2890
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If the tagline is #WeRaceAsOne - then does that not automatically mean that any stand has to be #WeDon'tRaceAsOne?
We can't expect any single driver to take action unless the whole F1 circus decides to not race.
No, because the stand could be "I agree with the concept, but not the execution". For example, I'm not sure it's F1s place to making those statements (not saying it is or it isn't, just I'm not sure). But I find it particularly poor taste to paint your safety car in a rainbow, say you support LGBTQ+ rights, and then go to countries where it's illegal. I find it poor taste to form the W-Series, and then go to a country where woman aren't allowed to drive. And it find it spectacularly poor taste to have an anti-racism campaign, and then reprimand drivers for wearing LGTBQ+ T-Shirts.

F1 is points scoring with stances they don't actually care about. They proved it when they reprimanded the drivers.
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Old 1 Dec 2021, 10:04 (Ref:4086115)   #2891
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Originally Posted by coppice View Post
The whole Gulf state F 1 show is a disgrace, and has been for years. The only reason F 1is there is the hideous amounts of cash one state will pay to show off to its local rivals . There is no local motorsport scene of any note, the tracks are uniformly dire (with Qatar reaching a new nadir ) and hardly any locals actually turn out to watch. Even that pales into insignificance besides these joke countries appalling , medieval regimes , dismal human rights record , suppression of press freedom and barbaric criminal punishments.

As for Saudi - the country in whose embassy was killed the dissenter Jamal Khashoggi , and with the finger of suspicion pointing at very high places...

Matthew Hedges, banged up for life in Dubai just before the GP in 2018 , with no lawyer , no fair trial - and all F1 could worry about was tyre deg. with not a word said. Easy enough to virtue signal elsewhere, with black armbands where it suits but the cat got their tongues in the Gulf . Can't think why ...
Domenicali tried to claim that F1 going would encourage these countries to improve human rights.
https://www.racefans.net/2021/10/04/...ghts-concerns/

It's all about the money. Liberty are more intelligent than Bernie Ecclestone, but their intentions are no different.
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Old 1 Dec 2021, 10:25 (Ref:4086119)   #2892
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Domenicali tried to claim that F1 going would encourage these countries to improve human rights.
https://www.racefans.net/2021/10/04/...ghts-concerns/
I stopped buying this argument when drivers wore LGBTQ+ T-Shirts during an anthem for a nation which is oppressing the LGBTQ+ community, and the FIA reprimanded them for it. The drivers literally tried to make a point and make the difference like F1 said it would, and they were slapped by the FIA for it.

Thankfully, Vettel and Hamilton both said they would do it again without hesitation.
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Old 1 Dec 2021, 10:46 (Ref:4086122)   #2893
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Domenicali tried to claim that F1 going would encourage these countries to improve human rights.
https://www.racefans.net/2021/10/04/...ghts-concerns/

It's all about the money. Liberty are more intelligent than Bernie Ecclestone, but their intentions are no different.
This stance by Domenicali is of course nonsense.15 years of doing business with China has had such positive outcomes for the Ugurs and Chinese tennis players.Russia would never now shoot down passenger planes or poison their citizens overseas.
Imagine what atrocities these nations would carry out if they hadn’t been positively influenced by F1.
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Old 2 Dec 2021, 13:28 (Ref:4086262)   #2894
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The WTA has just announced a suspension of all tournaments in China.

Granted this was precipitated by the WTA trying to protect one of its own players but things have to start somewhere.

Witht the games looming, we will see if this becomes a wider movement and/or supported by other sports organizing bodies.

With no race in China next year, F1 will no doubt try to side step this issue.
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Old 2 Dec 2021, 22:28 (Ref:4086363)   #2895
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Lewis Hamilton says he is not comfortable racing in Saudi Arabia this weekend as a result of the country's human rights record.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/59511709
Do I feel comfortable here? I wouldn't say I do. But it's not my choice to be here. The sport has taken a choice to be here.

"And whether it's right or wrong, while we are here, it's important we do try to raise awareness."
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