Jean Todt, the president of motor racing’s governing body, the FIA, says Formula One should not be concerned about racing in countries with human rights issues.
The introduction of the Saudi Arabia to the 2021 race schedule has been controversial and raised questions from human rights groups. F1’s Bahrain Grand Prix has also previously raised concerns, as have races in China, Russia and Abu Dhabi.
Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone used to say the sport should stay out of politics. Todt, who works with the United Nations on road safety, agrees with that mindset.
“It’s something which is very dear to my heart,” he said. “And since now five years I’m very much involved with the UN as secretary general special envoy for road safety.
“If you see the high level panel I made on road safety, you have Zeid Raad Al Hussein, a former high commissioner for human…