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Renault Kicks Off Race Day by Handing Keys to New Driver

Aseel Al Hamad during the French Grand Prix

With its established record of innovation, mobility and its long-held pioneering spirit, Renault celebrates the much-heralded return of today’s French Grand Prix in a very special way. Saudi Arabian Aseel Al Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation, was given the opportunity to drive a Renault Sport Formula One Team E20 car on the Le Castellet circuit, France, as part of the Renault ‘Passion Parade’ just hours before the start of the first French GP in ten years. It is the very same car former F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen drove to victory in the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Renault and F1 are proud to enable Aseel to pursue the passion for motorsport she has cultivated over the years on the same day women are able to drive on the roads of Saudi Arabia.

Aseel got her first experience of Formula 1 power at a Renault training day on 5 June at Le Castellet. Under the expert tutoring of Renault Sport Formula One Team engineers and technicians, Aseel got accustomed to the demanding circuit in a Renault road car before switching to a Formula Renault car and the E20 Formula 1 car in the later part of the day.

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Aseel represents her country on the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, chaired by former World Rally Championship driver and winner Michèle Mouton. Amongst Aseel’s many responsibilities, she is tasked to put in place strategies and policies to promote the education and training of women in motorsport in Saudi Arabia by collaborating on joint projects and participating in international forums and conferences devoted to the place of women in sport.

Aseel Al Hamad commented: “I have loved racing and motorsport from a very young age and to drive a Formula 1 car goes even beyond my dreams and what I thought was possible. It is a genuine honour to drive the Renault Sport Formula One Team E20 car in front of the crowds at its home Grand Prix 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 spirit to dream.”

Jérôme Stoll, President of Renault Sport Racing, commented: “Renault has always embraced pioneers and demonstrated a pioneering spirit. Equally Renault has a long-held passion for motorsport and loves to share it through every type of competition with as many people as possible. We’re pleased to see Aseel’s passion for racing and her enthusiasm for demonstrating the accessibility of motorsport to more people around the world.”

Michèle Mouton, President of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission: “The FIA Women in Motorsport Commission is dedicated to promoting opportunities across all forms of motor sport activities, but also to promoting equality between male and female counterparts in the wider automotive industry and on the roads. To do so, we work extremely closely with all national sporting federations to improve access to our sport. In the time Aseel has been a member of the Commission, Saudi Arabia’s vision has been very clear and things have developed at a rapid rate. Now, as one of the driving forces behind the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation, Aseel will pave the way for women to embrace sports and careers in motor sport. Thank you to Renault for putting together such an innovative opportunity that showcases so many of our principles.”

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HISTORIC DAY MARKED BY FEMALE RACING DRIVER AS SAUDI WOMEN GAIN THE RIGHT TO DRIVE

HISTORIC DAY MARKED BY SAUDI WOMAN RACING DRIVER Arab Motor World (3)

Saudi Woman Racing Driver Aseel Al Hamad celebrated the end of the ban on women drivers with a lap of honour in a Jaguar F-TYPE.

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

Aseel joined Jaguar in a call for June 24th to 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.

Aseel said:

“Having loved cars since I was a child, today is highly emotional for me. This is the best driving moment of my life. What better way to kick off World Driving Day than a lap of honour in my home country in a Jaguar F-TYPE – the ultimate car to roar around the track.  I hope people around the world will share in our joy today by sharing their most memorable driving story using #worlddrivingday.”

By creating World Driving Day, Jaguar urges people to remember this historic day and what it means to women, to Saudi Arabia and to world progress in general. As part of its ongoing work with over 40 Universities and Academic institutions globally on future mobility solutions, the company will also be partnering with University in Saudi Arabia to join this global network. The partnership, to be announced later this year, will be a unique exchange to tap into the brightest young minds in Saudi Arabia to shape the company’s future innovations as it moves to ACES (an Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Shared future).

Jaguar Land Rover spokesperson, Salman Sultan, Regional Public Relations and Social Media Manager comments:

‘We are delighted to mark this historic day with motorsport expert Aseel Al Hamad as she races for the first time on Saudi soil and launches World Driving Day. This day is a commitment from Jaguar to celebrate this key moment annually for both men and women. This year, we’re really excited to collaborate with the brilliant students from Saudi Arabia to shape the future of mobility for people around the world.”