Saudi Arabian woman drives F1 car to mark end of ban

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Aseel Al-Hamad of Saudia Arabia poses for a photo before driving a Lotus Renault E20 Formula One car during a parade before the race (REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier)
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Aseel Al-Hamad of Saudia Arabia poses for a photo before driving a Lotus Renault E20 Formula One car during a parade before the race (REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier)
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Aseel Al-Hamad of Saudia Arabia poses for a photo before driving a Lotus Renault E20 Formula One car during a parade before the race (REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier)
Updated 24 June 2018
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Saudi Arabian woman drives F1 car to mark end of ban

  • On the same day that women celebrated being allowed to drive on the roads of Saudi Arabia, Aseel Al-Hamad drove an F1 car
  • Al-Hamad who is a member of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, is a keen driver and motorsport enthusiast

LE CASTELLET, France: Renault stole a march on their Formula One rivals on Sunday when they gave a Saudi Arabian woman a chance to mark a special day by driving one of their cars ahead of Sunday’s French Grand Prix.
On the same day that women celebrated being allowed to drive on the roads of Saudi Arabia, Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of her national motorsport federation, took the wheel of the same car in which Kimi Raikkonen won the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

She was part of a Renault ‘passion parade’ hours ahead of the first French Grand Prix in a decade and the first to be held at the Le Castellet circuit for 28 years.
Al-Hamad who is a member of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, is a keen driver and motorsport enthusiast who took part in a training day on June 5 at the circuit.
"I have loved racing and motorsport from a very young age and to drive a Formula One car goes even beyond my dreams and what I thought was possible.

"It is a genuine honour to drive in front of the crowds at the team’s home race in France.
"I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream."
Aseel is responsible for creation of strategies to promote the education and training of women in motorsport in Saudi Arabia.

 

 

Al-Hamad had celebrated the end of the ban on women drivers with a lap of honour in a Jaguar F-TYPE.


Al-Hamad, the first female board member of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, had never driven on a track in her home country before.

Al-Hamad joined Jaguar in a call for June 24thto be known as World Driving Day – a day when finally, the whole world can enjoy the thrill of being behind the wheel of a car. On World Driving Day Jaguar invites people to share a memory of their best driving moment (image or anecdote) using the #worlddrivingday.


Algeria ready for ‘match of a lifetime’ — Guedioura

Updated 19 July 2019
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Algeria ready for ‘match of a lifetime’ — Guedioura

  • The Cup of Nations showpiece marks the climax not only of Algeria’s campaign on the field, but of their fans’ recent political campaign in the stands

CAIRO: Algeria midfielder Adlene Guedioura says Friday’s Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal represents the “match of a lifetime” as his country bids to capture the title for a second time.

The Desert Foxes lifted their lone trophy on home soil in 1990 but coach Djamel Belmadi has reinvigorated a team that crashed out in the group stage two years ago and then flopped in World Cup qualifying.

“I think it’s the match of a lifetime for a lot of players in the team and for Algeria,” said Guedioura, who at 33 is the oldest member of the squad.

The Nottingham Forest journeyman has started five of six games in Egypt and insisted much of the credit for Algeria’s eye-catching performances must go to former national team midfielder Belmadi.

“He really knows the players and what he wants. The good thing is he knows how to get through to the players and how to listen,” said the 48-time international.

“If you don’t have a good cook you can’t have a good recipe. With that we realize we can be all together and it’s important to be a team.

“It’s important for Algeria because we used to have good individuals and now we feel very strong as a team and we want to achieve as a team.”

A Youcef Belaili goal earned Algeria a 1-0 victory over Senegal in the group stage, but Belmadi was quick to point out the statistics were heavily weighted in their opponents’ favor.

“Of course we can lose this match. We have an opponent that is number one in the FIFA rankings for Africa. They were at the World Cup. We were eliminated in the first round in 2017,” said Belmadi.

“If you get to the final, the aim is obviously to win it. The game in the group stage wasn’t decisive but now it is and that’s the difference.”

He added: “The most important is to stay concentrated and determined yet calm at the same time.”

Algeria will have the backing of an additional 4,800 fans for the final.

Some of them will arrive in Cairo on military planes organized by Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui.

The Cup of Nations showpiece marks the climax not only of Algeria’s campaign on the field, but of their fans’ recent political campaign in the stands.

In April, long-standing president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned after weekly Friday protests against his expected candidacy for elections, and football fans have been heavily involved in demonstrations.

“We know what’s happening. The people we represent have been wonderful,” said Guedioura

“It’s magnificent what is happening. We’re focused on football but we want to win the final for the people,” he added.