Saudi Arabian Woman Marks End Of Driving Ban By Getting Behind The Wheel Of Formula One Car

Updated: 24 June 2018 16:04 IST

Al-Hamad drove a 2012 car, in which Kimi Raikkonen won that year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as part of a parade of the French manufacturer's cars to mark the return of the race after a 10-year absence.

Saudi Arabian Woman Marks End Of Driving Ban By Getting Behind The Wheel Of Formula One Car
Saudi Arabia's Aseel Al-Hamad is the first female member of her national motorsport federation. © Twitter

Saudi Arabia finally lifted the decade-old driving ban, allowing the women of the country to get behind the wheel. The first licences to women drivers were issued earlier this month, although the change was announced last September. The Middle Eastern nation was the only country left in the world where women could not drive and families had to hire private chauffeurs for female relatives. To mark the special day, Saudi Arabia's Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of her national motorsport federation, got a chance to drive a Renault Formula One car ahead of the French Grand Prix on Sunday.  

Renault said Al-Hamad drove a 2012 car, in which Kimi Raikkonen won that year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as part of a parade of the French manufacturer's cars to mark the return of the race after a 10-year absence.

Al-Hamad is a keen driver and motorsports enthusiast. "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.

"It is a genuine honour to drive in front of the crowds at the team's home race in France.

"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 the spirit to dream."

Aseel is responsible for the creation of strategies to promote the education and training of women in motorsport in Saudi Arabia.

In the first French Grand Prix in a decade and the first to be held at the Le Castellet circuit for 28 years, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton will start from the front row, where he will be joined by teammate Valtteri Bottas. Championship leader Sebastian Vettel will start third at Circuit Paul Ricard as he bids for a fourth victory of the season after previous triumphs in Australia, Bahrain and Canada.

(With AFP Inputs)

Comments
Topics : Renault Kimi Raikkonen Paul Ricard French Grand Prix Formula 1
Highlights
  • The first licences to women drivers were issued earlier this month
  • Renault return of the race after a 10-year absence
  • Championship leader Sebastian Vettel will start 3rd in his Ferrari
Related Articles
Lewis Hamilton Eases To French Grand Prix Win, Restores Championship Lead
Lewis Hamilton Eases To French Grand Prix Win, Restores Championship Lead
French Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton Takes 75th Career Pole As Mercedes Lock Out Front Row
French Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton Takes 75th Career Pole As Mercedes Lock Out Front Row
Mercedes
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton Sets A Blistering Pace In French Grand Prix Practice
Force India will pull out all stops against McLaren: Vijay Mallya
Force India will pull out all stops against McLaren: Vijay Mallya
Financial challenges hit Formula 1
Financial challenges hit Formula 1
Advertisement