Saudi Arabia Lifts Ban on Woman Drivers
As Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on female drivers on June 24, Aseel Al Hamad, a female racing driver from the country and the first female board member of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, marked the occasion by running a lap of honor in one of her country's race tracks in a Jaguar F-Type.
Aseel lapped the Reem International Circuit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on June 23, hours before the ban was lifted on the midnight of June 24. She then flew to France to drive the Renault Sport Formula One Team E20 car on the Le Castellet circuit as part of the Renault ‘Passion Parade,’ just hours before the start of the first French Grand Prix in 10 years. The E20 is the very same Lotus E20 former F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen drove to victory in the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Aseel had never driven on a track in her home country before.
"Having loved cars since I was a child, today is highly emotional for me," said Aseel. "This is the best driving moment of my life. What better way to kick off World Driving Day than a lap of honor 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).
"It’s easy to forget and take for granted the enjoyment of driving and just what a privilege it is to get behind the wheel of a car," said Jaguar Customer Experience Director Fiona Pargeter. "World Driving 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."