Hamilton disagrees with rivals in Jeddah: “Hopefully everyone gets home safely"

Lewis Hamilton has openly disputed the positivity shown by his fellow drivers about returning to Jeddah for the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Hamilton disagrees with rivals in Jeddah: “Hopefully everyone gets home safely

Last year, the race was overshadowed by a missile strike on the Friday carried out by a group on a nearby oil depot - the drivers required a crisis meeting before being convinced to race on.

Extra security has been brought in this year and a pep talk to encourage the drivers was “well received”, The Sun reports, but Hamilton was vocal about the issues that remain.

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After multiple drivers backed F1’s decision to return to Jeddah, Hamilton said: “All the opposite to everything they said. I didn’t elaborate so it’s open to interpretation.

“I am looking forward to getting in the car, for sure. The track is pretty awesome, I look forward to the challenge of whether we are close or further behind. That side of my job, I’m excited about.”

The Mercedes driver was asked if he was worried by the politics or the safety issues of being in Saudi Arabia, and replied: “I don’t want to get into either. 

“Hopefully everyone has a safe weekend and gets home safely after. That’s all we can do, right?”

Hamilton disagrees with rivals in Jeddah: “Hopefully everyone gets home safely

Hamilton was questioned if he ever considered refusing to return to Jeddah after last year’s missile strike.

“If I’m not here, F1 will continue without me,” he replied. 

“So I try to learn as much as I can. I feel like, as a sport, going to places with human rights issues, such as this one, the sport is duty-bound to leave a positive impact and raise awareness. 

“We need to do more. I don’t have all the answers.”

What did other F1 drivers say?

Kevin Magnussen said: “Last year was pretty special. None of us enjoyed it. It’s a different situation now. A ceasefire between the two parties involved last year. That gives us confidence.”

Lance Stroll said: “I trust that F1 are looking after us. The country is changing, evolving.”

Sergio Perez: “I am happy to be back. As a sport we can help the country evolve for the people who live here. We trust the organisations who bring us here.”

Lando Norris: “I am happy we’re racing here. What we’re doing is a good thing. Not worried about anything.”

Carlos Sainz: “They have given us enough explanation that we are in a safe place. I am confident they are not lying to us, and they are putting on safe events. Every year the fanbase is growing so we need to try to enjoy our stay here.”

Valtteri Bottas and Yuki Tsunoda refused to comment when asked.

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