NOVEMBER 9, 2020
F1 will shine light on Saudi Arabia's problems says Lammers
Controversy about the newly announced F1 race in Saudi Arabia will shine a light on the problems within the country.
That is the view of Jan Lammers, a former F1 driver who is now a leading figure of the Dutch GP at Zandvoort.
Following the announcement of the 2021 night race in Jeddah, Amnesty International called on Lewis Hamilton to denounce the event as attempted 'sports-washing' of Saudi Arabia's human rights record.
But Lammers says the fact that Saudi Arabia is joining the calendar will in fact only shine a light on the country's problems.
"A country can actually be improved by holding a race there," he told F1 Maximaal.
"We already saw this in the Netherlands, with all the environmental opposition groups given a platform to make their positions clear. If you look at it in that way, it is a good thing for everybody.
"If Formula 1 wasn't going to Saudi Arabia, there would be a lot less attention on those issues. Now, the whole world is going to be talking about them."
Lammers also thinks it is a good thing that Hamilton has held off on attacking Saudi Arabia, even though the Mercedes driver is active on many other political fronts.
"I find it unfortunate that drivers like Lewis involve the fans in political matters," he said.
"As noble as they want it to be, I am not sure whether to think it is a good thing or a bad thing. At the end of the day the fans want to watch motorsport and not something else.
"You don't necessarily want to get involved in politics and that shouldn't be the goal of Formula 1 either."