Alpine display sees Aseel Al Hamad and Abbi Pulling become the first women to drive an F1 car in Saudi Arabia
Saudi runner Aseel Al Hamad and W Series Driver Abbi Pulling became the first women to drive a Formula 1 car in Saudi Arabia as part of a demonstration, in the V8-powered E20, organized by Alpine around the Kingdom’s capital, Riyadh.
Aseel, who represents Saudi Arabia on the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission and is a board member of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, leads the development of strategies and of policies to promote the education and training of women in motor sport in Saudi Arabia. She is also part of the Alpine family as she made history with the team in 2018 when she took the same E20 to the track at Circuit Paul Ricard, France.
Joining Aseel for the demo was Abbi Pulling, who will be competing in the W Series this year. Abbi is part of the Alpine Affiliate program, which is the Alpine Academy’s feed series. It nurtures young racing talent with potential all the way to F1, with advice on career paths, media training, nutrition and psychology.
In an activity facilitated by the Saudi Tourism Authority, Aseel and Abbi took the E20 through some of the Kingdom’s most important destinations, including via Wadi Hanifah in the historic city of Diriyah, which is dominated by the heritage site World Heritage Site At-Turaif, the original home of the Al Saud Royal Family, birthplace of the kingdom and origin of the country’s first Saudi state, before guiding the car through the bright lights of the new King Financial District Abdullah (KAFD).
Together, the two drivers demonstrated that opportunities in motorsport and the Kingdom are created for and by women and that the future looks bright for the next generation.
Visit Saudi logos will appear on Alpine A522 cars this weekend during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Aseel Al Hamad: “It was wonderful to drive again with BWT Alpine F1 Team, and even more special to do it in my country, Saudi Arabia, and in my hometown, Riyadh. I hope it inspires more generations to fall in love with Formula 1 and that more women will consider motorsport as a future career. I was super happy to meet Abbi, a lovely girl with a lot of ambition and an incredible passion for racing. She shows that with enough motivation, girls can become professional racing drivers. It is important that we present examples to demonstrate to the young generation that it can be them in the future; no matter your gender; you must show your talent. I will cheer them on and open the doors and hopefully we’ll see them on the catwalks in the near future.
Abbi pulling: “I had my first experience of an F1 car last weekend and it was everything I expected and more. I started racing when I was just eight years old, always with the aim of reaching Formula 1, and I am so happy to have come a little closer to it. It is very important for the industry to encourage and support young female talents to achieve their ambitions. like the Alpine Academy coupled with demonstration races with female riders shows that you have the opportunity and the structure to do it.It was a pleasure to meet Aseel and hear about all his initiatives to support young riders. It’s super encouraging for me and the next generation.
Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine: “The claim that two women are driving an F1 car through the capital of Saudi Arabia, past precious historical monuments and through the heart of the city, shows that anyone with enough motivation can achieve their dreams in motorsport. Aseel shows that women from all walks of life are welcome, while Abbi demonstrates that motorsport is a real career path for women.We hope this action inspires girls of the younger generation that anything is possible.
Fahd Hamidaddin, Managing Director, Suadi Tourism Authority: “Saudi Arabia is a welcoming destination for all and inclusive of all. Tourism and sport are intimately linked and both offer women the opportunity to build fulfilling and rewarding career paths. As a father of two daughters myself, it is a pleasure to join Alpine in this historic initiative and to inspire women from all walks of life to pursue their dreams wherever they lead. And, more importantly, to help them realize their dreams.