Lewis Hamilton and several other Formula 1 drivers have expressed their discomfort with returning to Saudi Arabia.
As Yemeni militants attacked an oil refinery nearby with missiles during the race the year before, drivers had second thoughts about competing.
Hamilton originally declined to comment on the circumstance during Thursday’s media day but subsequently added that F1 had a “responsibility to raise awareness” of human rights problems.
Authorities in Saudi Arabia and F1 executives have assured the drivers that measures have been taken to ensure that the event this year is not disrupted in the same way and that their safety is not in danger.
Lance Stroll of Aston Martin and Sergio Perez of Red Bull both stated that they had faith in Formula One and the event’s organizers to watch out for them and that they thought Saudi Arabia, which has been charged by human rights organizations with rampant violations, was undergoing constructive transformation.
In the official news conference, Hamilton was the last to respond to questions on safety and human rights. He originally stated that he believed “the opposite to everything they [Stroll and Perez] said”.
When questioned about whether he meant safety or human rights, he responded: “I don’t want to get into either.”