Lewis Hamilton slams Saudi Arabia's 'mind blowing' human rights issues after letter from 14-year-old on death row
LEWIS HAMILTON has heard "mind blowing" stories about Saudi Arabia's shocking human rights record and says he'd be open for talks to make positive changes.
F1 races in Jeddah this weekend, just 112 days after the country staged its debut GP in December.
Back then, Hamilton spoke out about the regime and said he "wouldn't say" he was comfortable being present in Saudi.
Ahead of Sunday's race, he was quizzed about reports of 81 people being executed on March 12, with the death toll expected to reach 500 by the end of the year.
He said: "My position is still the same as I spoke last year. There is not really a lot that I can say that is going to make any difference.
"It is obviously mindblowing to hear the stories. I have heard there is a letter that has been sent to me, for example, from a 14-year-old that is on death row.
Read More SunSport
Max and Lewis ready to rumble in Saudi’s Jeddah Showdown this weekend.
Leclerc looks to follow up on Bahrain with Hamilton and Verstappen in pursuit
"At 14, you don't know what the hell you are doing in life.
"We don't decide where we go [to race]. We are duty-bound to try and do what we can while we are here. It is not necessarily our responsibility but we try and do what we can.
"I think it is important we try to educate ourselves and with a little bit of difference, we can try to make sure we are doing something.
"But ultimately, it is the responsibility of those that are in power to really make the changes and we are not really seeing enough. We need to see more."
Most read in Motorsport
Max and Lewis ready to rumble in Saudi's Jeddah Showdown this weekend.
Mercedes chief Wolff taunts Red Bull trio by saying he'd 'rather work alone'
Hamilton 'on equal playing field' with Russell at Mercedes this F1 season
Sacked F1 race director Michael Masi set to be handed new role by FIA
Hamilton has been prominent in raising social issues and says he would be willing to speak to the Saudis to address their human rights.
He added: "It shouldn't be our responsibility to have to do that but it is obviously a very, very complex situation.
"I am always open to having a discussion, to learning more and trying to understand exactly why the things that are happening are happening and why they are not changing.
"It is 2022, it is easy to make changes. But I am open to doing that. I don't know who I would have to speak to exactly but I would love to see that.
"I know that Boris [Johnson] was over here recently. I heard that human rights were raised but what was said, what is being done, I have not heard about that."
Hamilton took a third place finish in Bahrain after Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez retired.
His Merc is prone to 'porpoising' sending the car up and down and banging on the ground when it hits top speed.
He is hoping for a smoother ride this weekend in Jeddah but admits the high-speed straights could leave him with a headache.
He said: "It shouldn't be as bumpy as Bahrain, which is a much older circuit and has got more character to it because it is as old as it is.
"This track is super fast but a different surface that'll behave with the tyres differently.
"These long, long straights might not be too fun with the bouncing if we still have it.
"But those that have the bouncing are in the same boat and hopefully we will try and fix some of it."
Source: Read Full Article