Racing lines: F1 can’t avoid reality Car News

The Chinese GP dropped the calendar during the pandemic and has yet to return. All the better for the good of F1 and motorsport’s governing body, the FIA: it’s a tricky decision they don’t have to face.

Walk a fine line

But in June F1 will travel to race in Azerbaijan, one of 12 countries that did not register a vote on the UN resolution. The oil-rich Eurasian nation is in a tough diplomatic spot, given its ties to Russia and Ukraine, so it’s no surprise to find it sitting on the fence.

But in a crisis seen by the West through a black and white prism of good versus evil, good versus evil, can F1 really justify racing in a country that has not clearly and irrevocably condemned the Putin’s actions? Neutrality just doesn’t wash out in the world we live in today.

F1 has often walked a fine line with whom it does business. Remember Bernie Ecclestone getting close to Putin in the first Sochi race in 2013? It’s not the former F1 boss’ finest moment – but hey, like Adolf Hitler, the Russian dictator is ‘getting things done’.

But after Ecclestone, is F1 really that different? This month, Saudi Arabia carried out the largest mass execution in its modern history, putting 81 convicts to death. A pleasure to do business…

Ahead of the Bahrain GP, ​​F1 faced fresh allegations of ignoring human rights abuses. The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy has claimed F1 has “abandoned those who have been tortured and imprisoned” following a new 15-year deal to keep the Sakhir circuit on its schedule.

long refuted such accusations, existing as they do in their own selfish bubbles of neutrality. After all, sport and politics should never be mixed up… Should we? Everything is so much more convenient that way.

Good week

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This notice was published: 2022-03-24 00:01:24

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