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Aseel Al Hamad and Abbi Pulling become first women to drive an F1 car in Saudi Arabia

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W Series driver Abbi Pulling and Saudi Arabian racer Aseel Al Hamad have become the first women to drive a Formula 1 car in Saudi Arabia as part of a demonstration held by Alpine.

Ahead of the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Pulling joined Al Hamad – who represents Saudi Arabia on the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission and is a board member of the Saudi motorsport federation – in the 2012 E20 F1 car (formerly known as the Lotus E20).

With the assistance of the Saudi Tourism Authority, the two drivers took the E20 on a tour through the Kingdom, including the city of Diriyah and a UNESCO World Heritage site, and created history in the process.

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Al Hamad, who has also driven the E20 at Paul Ricard in 2018, said: "It was beautiful to drive with Alpine once again, and even more special to do this in my country of Saudi Arabia and my home city of Riyadh.

"I hope this inspires more generations to fall in love with Formula 1 and for more women to consider motorsport as a future career.

"I was super happy to meet Abbi, a lovely girl with lots of ambition, and an amazing passion for racing. She shows that with enough drive, girls can become professional racing drivers," added the racing driver from Saudi Arabia.

"It is important that we showcase examples to demonstrate to the younger generation that it can be them in the future; it doesn’t matter your gender; you need to show your talent. I will be cheering for them and opening the doors and hopefully we will see them on podiums in the near future."

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Pulling, who continues in W Series this season, added: "I got my first experience of an F1 car last weekend and it was everything I was expecting, and more. I started racing when I was just eight years old, always with the goal of reaching Formula 1, and I am so pleased to have got that little bit closer."

Alpine's CEO Laurent Rossi said: "The statement of having two women driving an F1 car through the capital of Saudi Arabia, past treasured historic monuments and into the heart of the city, shows that anyone with enough drive can follow their dreams in motorsport."

The 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is the second round of the F1 season and takes place in Jeddah on March 25-27 as Ferrari lead both championships.

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