No dress code for Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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In the round-up: No dress code will be enforced for the first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix later this year, contrary to reports elsewhere earlier this month.

In brief

No special dress requirements for Saudi Arabian GP

Male and female visitors to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in December will not be subject to a dress code at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit or public places in the city, RaceFans understands.

This follows reports claiming a strict minimum standard of attire would be imposed at the event, requiring attendees’ outfits to have long sleeves and long trousers or skirts below the knee. Visitors will be told they can dress in the same way they would for other races in the region, such as the Bahrain Grand Prix and recently-added race in Qatar.

Saudi Arabia’s citizens are ordinarily required to dress conservatively. Women wear a long, black cloak called an abaya which leaves only their hands and face visible; some also wear a veil. Men wear a traditional dress known as a thawb and a headdress. The requirement for female foreign visitors to wear an abaya was relaxed in 2019.

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63 comments on “No dress code for Saudi Arabian Grand Prix”

  1. Saudi Arabia’s citizens are ordinarily required to dress conservatively. Women wear a long, black cloak called an abaya which leaves only their hands and face visible; some also wear a veil. Men wear a traditional dress known as a thawb and a headdress. The requirement for female foreign visitors to wear an abaya was relaxed in 2019.

    How sweet of them. They’re finally leaving the equivalent of Middle Ages.

    1. some racing fan
      29th October 2021, 2:36

      I mean, common methods of execution there still include public decapitation and stoning (literally death by rocks being thrown at you), so…

      1. some racing fan

        I mean, common methods of execution there still include public decapitation and stoning (literally death by rocks being thrown at you), so…

        One step at the time, that’s what they say.

      2. Only the next step for the image laundering of the Saudi regime. Their bloodshed will be down the carpet during the Grand Prix.

      3. Because it’s the sharia law, and it’s the best law for human being actually.. And people only get that kind of punishment because you’re doing something very gross, terrible crime, but after that your sin in front of god will be forgiven… It’s not just some random guy get decapitated for fun and without reason there.. I’m all for a better human rights, but why don’t look to the whole world apart from the middle east, is they’re all “clean” as well?

    2. No they are not. That entire dress code saga was just introduced to draw attention away from the real problem in Saudi Arabia: a total lack of human rights for women and a ruler getting away with stuff like slaughtering a writer that says stuff he did not like.

  2. What are you talking about, it’s f1’s token system.

  3. I know Hamilton wants more people from different groups/races in the same company or enterprise, but too much in most situations do not end well. Maybe 50% will be great, if it ever reaches at that percentage, but 100% does not look good really. Too little, too bad and too much, too bad.

    1. What does 100% diversity even mean? No person that is the same combination of race, gender, and ethnicity? More autistic employees and ADHD folks (neurosoversity)? More people that went to different universities? That would be a bizarre way to run any company let alone a competitive engineering team.

      1. It’s a euphemism for non-white, like when a show was lauded most diverse ever relatively recently, it was just mostly black people. So 100% would be no white staff.

        1. Which is ironic because to be truly diverse the mix needs to include whites and non-whites.

      2. @ryanoceros there are jobs which people with cognitive impairments can do, even if it’s just keeping the factory floor clean (I have visited a high end speaker manufacturer who did just this).

        When it comes to autism, the spectrum is so broad, I’m sure there’s some engineers in F1 teams who are in the spectrum, maybe at the mild end, but on the spectrum nonetheless.

        1. Totally, but i think people that could be described as neurodiverse can do any type of work as people that pass as normal. Personally I have worked as a Combat Engineer and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan doing a wide range of work from pulling triggers to developing solid waste infrastructure for the city of Mosul, as an instructor, furniture maker, a math and physics tutor, programmer, civil engineer. I am moderately autistic. As an engineer you meet a lot of people with these traits, some extreme some mild. The main problem is other peoples’ perception not the inabilities of autistic people, although we have to recognize some autistic people have extreme difficultly with day to day activities.

    2. You can’t force diversity and be fair. If you have 100 open places for new employees and top 100 candidates are all black, you should hire them all. If they are all white, hire them all. Meritocracy, colour of our skin’s got nothing to do with our worth of our rights. I can’t be diverse since I’m one, I can only be what I am. Don’t fire me for being white, or for being an agnostic, for being heterosexual, for being liberal, for being of Slavic origin or for my blue eyes or preference towards apples instead of oranges. Or who knows, maybe I’m none of those things, or just some of them. If I’m a great mechanic none of that should matter if I can do the job. But imagine I don’t fit some quota that would satisfy an F1 driver. I remember when an American lady called Serbian national football team being terrible racists. Why? No black players. What she didn’t know is that there’s no more than a hundred or so black Serbians, there was no colonial history or slavery there. But no, it’s about appearance. Give people equal chances, don’t mask problems minorities are facing by giving us quotas. U say us, we’re all minority in some ways.

  4. Yeah this makes no sense whatsoever unless the quote is missing context. The Merc team employs people from all over the world and I see quite a few female faces in factory photos. I’m sure it’s really quite diverse for a mostly engineering organization and certainly far more diverse than a typical F1 team of 10 or 20 years ago. What does he want, more Tibetans, Bhutanese, and Bengalis?

    1. I watched the vid he means percent non-white people over total people. That’s actually quite surprising that a company based in Britain is nearly all white to this degree. The only company I ever worked for with such a non-diverse group is Japanese (I am a civil engineer for reference) Usually I see around 20%-ish +/-10% non-white people or I guess I should say non-white only people. It really does cry out racist hiring practices or a somehow limited recruitment pool.

    2. @ryanoceros

      What does he want, more Tibetans, Bhutanese, and Bengalis?

      No, just blacks. Hamilton: “What’s close to my heart is the black community because that’s obviously my background. That’s why we have focused the Hamilton Commission on that.”

  5. “brought himself back into shape with breathing exercises and drinking”

    The latter sounds quite reckless prior to n F1 race.

    1. Yep, it still is a sport for men. Many of them have died behind the wheel.

    2. Seems both ate something not good but drinking a lot of water you can beat that.

    3. The spirit of James Hunt is back! Kidding aside, that makes the drive from Max even more impressive.

    4. petebaldwin (@)
      28th October 2021, 17:00

      Got me through the lockdown. Discovered I like whiskey. Big fan of it.

    5. Sounded like Kimi..

    6. some racing fan
      29th October 2021, 2:42

      Apparently James Hunt used to do that prior to a number of GP’s- Mosport ‘76 was one. Of course those cars aren’t as fast and are demanding on the body in different ways than today’s cars (outside elements were different then), but even so how Hunt won that race after a night’s drinking and partying is beyond me. In addition to impairing reflexes, alcohol of course dehydrates the body.

      1. Not only champagne but also cocaine. More innocent times and all that!

  6. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    28th October 2021, 2:13

    Saudi: Drivers can wear what they want to.
    Qatar: Drivers can say what they want to.

    Such times.

  7. Are they slimming down for the cost cap? Does this mean they’ll be letting go more people than they need to because of their skin colour? In order to slightly repopulate with people of the correct colour? Seems off.

  8. From a resident of the UAE, I can confirm that each country in the GCC, not only Saudi Arabia, requires you to dress modestly (and this applies to men and women). The difference between here and the Kingdom is how the rules are enforced, but the rules remain. If you enter a mall in Dubai you will see signs asking you to dress modestly…although many chose to flaunt these rules.

    1. @geemac Same in Australia, all pubs require that you wear a shirt and ‘shoes’ but often a singlet and thongs are fine.

      1. Lol. All our US readers are currently thinking “Thongs??? What the hell?”
        They will not be thinking footwear.

        1. as another American, i can confirm i was not thinking footwear, your post saved me a disappointing trip to Australia.

          1. I am Australian, but I do know that colloquial terms between Oz and US do not all translate that well. A lot of time working with US expats. Just for REF. In Australia – “rubber” is a common term for a pencil eraser. In Australia – a “fanny” is not a person’s ass. In Australia – a “thong” is a open flip-flop footwear item. **Just to identify a few.

            I have had my share of observing US persons either shocked or red-faced in Australian social conversations. LoL.

      2. @johnrkh I think singlets and thongs these days can be dressed up much more than the ol’ shearer’s singlet on a hairy back and boat-sized thongs with stubbie shorts which they’re targeting.

        Also provides a “policy” so they can remove anyone at their discretion.

    2. @geemac But those aren’t necessarily requirements per se, but mere recommendations based on my experience visiting UAE twice (once solely for Abu Dhabi GP & separately Abu Dhabi, Dubai, & Sharjah on the same trip).
      I (& others) wore t-shirt/shorts combination as I always do in warm weather without anyone caring, no different from any other location I’ve visited.

    3. Of the countries F1 has raced in this year the following have laws prohibiting women to dress in certain ways: Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Austria.

      Amnesty International regularly protests these laws:
      “All women should be free to dress as they please and to wear clothing that expresses their identity or beliefs.”

      Shouldn’t these “dress codes” have made the news and not the absence of a “dress code”?

      1. Women in austria can dress in any way they desire. Who told you this crap?

      2. Of the countries F1 has raced in this year the following have laws prohibiting women to dress in certain ways: Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Austria.

        enlighten me, show proof of this strange remark.

        1. Bans on certain head/face coverings identified with Islam I surmise. I dint think the attempt to equate a French burka ban with KSA quite works though.

    4. I saw this personally in Qatar. People have to dress conservatively but it’s okay for men to treat women like trash. Disgusting. Guess you have to have some type of principles.

  9. Oh, what a relief! Where and when we can cover the Saudi princes shoes with kisses for such an indulgence for dress code?

    1. I wouldn’t kiss the crown prince’s ring though.

  10. No special dress requirements for Saudi Arabian GP

    Well, that’s a good PR-distraction for an otherwise ruthless regime.

    1. Question:

      How many of us are prepared to boycot the race?

      1. I won’t be going there (or as you stated before “won’t be heading there”).

      2. Good question, I guess it depends on what you regard as a boycot. I’m not planning on going to a race. If I were, this one would not be on any shortlist. But that’s an easy decision to make – if it even is one.
        I wonder how many boycotting F1-fans it would take to cause a significant enough drop in TV-ratings (or how many sassy comments on F1-related websites, of course..) to regard it as as a statement, or what other statement could be made.
        Not to put any pressure on this specific website, but a news outlet not reporting on or broadcasting any sessions or news I would support. Especially from a journalist’s perspective.
        It must be said: it’s a slippery slope, if you boycot Saudi Arabia, what about Qatar or any races sponsored by Aramco? However, that shouldn’t be an excuse to do nothing at all, no matter how much ‘freedom of the press’ and ‘women’s rights’ might simply be contributed to ‘having a Western perspective’ by some.

      3. Same number who boycott McLaren?

        1. Exactly…

      4. Good comment.

        I’ve decided that I will be, and will be boycotting the Qatar one as well.

        Unfortunately I’ll be in the minority.

      5. I am. maybe @keithcollantine could launch a poll on the subject. The more we are, the more people might think it makes a difference to join the boycott

      6. I won’t be watching regardless of the championship status. I’ll read the articles after. Hopefully no one gets dismembered and shipped back to their home country. Seeing Saudi Aramco sponsors at F1 races is bad enough.

  11. Diversity, climate, women, dress codes. Am I at an F1 site or The Guardian?

    But ironic to put the push for different skin colors and women to the top in single-seaters next to an article about how not even an American pay driver has gotten to F1 for over a decade.

  12. I believe journalists are required to wear a body bag if they in any way upset the Saudi rulers.

    1. I heard that too. “Looking the part” redefined..

  13. Villeneuve had an offshore set up in 94 before he was even indycar champ? I suspect if Jacques had only ever earned the average wage for Canada he still would have wound up in trouble with the authorities. That man was really determined to avoid taxes.

    1. At least it’s shut him up!

      1. This combined with his comments about the 2012 student finances really shows the measure of the man.

  14. Good move. Bahrain & Abu Dhabi have never required a special dress code for attendees, so neither should any other Arabian Peninsula/Gulf region location.

    AMuS: Breathing exercise, I’m never seen/heard this term before. Anyway, since both RBR drivers had something, their achievements are more meaningful than usual.

    Rotation is workable for permanent circuits but less so for temporary ones.

    COTD: Indeed, the two big changes + making four S3 corners slighter-angeled will improve lap flow considerably.

    1. Look up Wim Hof.

  15. Ahhh….John Newhouse. There is a name from the past ;)

  16. Saudi Arabia is hosting a grand prix to help launder their reputation, and enforcing what is normally “de rigeur” would run counter to this aim.

    How desperate is Liberty for $$$ that they need to stoop so far for hosting fees?

  17. No country has clean hands, at least none of the ones on the calendar. I’m reading these comments at the same time as reports of a British soldier who murdered a woman in Kenya in 2012 and his unit members merely joked about it even as they covered up. You may think this is different from the Saudis hacking a journalist to death but it isn’t. If anything, the UK, US and others have a lot more blood on their hands even if you’re looking at just the past few decades.

    Just watch the race and don’t over think things trying to connect F1 with the evil the host countries do.

  18. I understand the need to respect the practices in the countries that you visit, however the fact that dress code is a headline for Saudi is just an illustration of the real issues in this country. There are human rights issues even more important than dress code, when is F1 going to take a stand and refuse money from these despotic countries. When the equipment is
    packed up and loaded, they just revert to who they really are.

  19. Nice, so men don’t have to wear dresses then…that must be a relief to the drivers.

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