Aseel Al-Hamad Ends Saudi’s Driving Ban On Women At French Grand Prix

    Saudi woman Aseel Al-Hamad marked the end of Saudi Arabias longstanding and unethical driving ban on women by driving an F1 car ahead of the 2018 French Grand Prix.

    Renault Sport F1 on Twitter

    Saudi Arabian Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation, to drive the @PaulRicardTrack, in the 2012 @RenaultSportF1 car today ahead of the #FrenchGP. #RSspirit #RACEday #SheDrives

    The ban, which was lifted on June 23, follows three decades of calls for change. Although there was no explicit law against women driving, licenses were not issued to Saudi women and a ban was enforced by police.

    Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation, drove the Renault Sport E20 car as part of the Passion Parade — the same car Kimi Raikkonen drove to victory in the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

    Formula 1 on Twitter

    A special way to mark a special day Aseel Al-Hamad drives in the @RenaultSportF1 Passion Parade at the #FrenchGP on the same day Saudi Arabia allowed women to obtain a driving licence

    In a statement released before the race, Al-Hamad said she hopes that shed inspire other Saudi women, showing them what you can do if you have the passion and spirit to dream.

    In recent years, the presence of women in Motorsports has exploded. The sport is providing women with opportunities to excel on the tracks and in the executive offices while providing an avenue for other ambitious and talented ladies to strike down cultural boundaries of the past. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.