Carey says F1 can be a 'force for good' on human rights

Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton last week urged Formula One to do more, saying human rights issues were a "massive problem" in some of the countries the sport visited.

Formula One boss Chase Carey countered questions about his sport's record on human rights on Tuesday by saying it represented a 'force for good'.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Formula One boss Chase Carey countered questions about his sport's record on human rights on Tuesday by saying it represented a 'force for good'.

Mercedes' seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton last week urged Formula One to do more, saying human rights issues were a "massive problem" in some of the countries the sport visited.

"I don't think we have a massive problem, I think actually sports have a unique opportunity to be a force for good," Carey told CNN Sport ahead of Sunday's penultimate race of the season in Bahrain.

READ | Lewis Hamilton 'gutted' after positive COVID-19 test

"Sports in some ways have uniquely -- over time -- crossed borders, crossed cultures and brought people from different places together," added the chief executive.

"I think the world's got a lot of places you can sort of boycott and protest. I think the world could use a few more places where you try and create good through encouragement and positive reinforcement."

Bahrain's annual race has regularly drawn criticism from rights campaigners at home and abroad, with the race cancelled in 2011 due to civil unrest, and this year the kingdom is hosting two rounds of a COVID-19 affected calendar.

Formula One is also set to race in neighbouring Saudi Arabia for the first time next year, a move criticised by Amnesty International.

ALSO READ | Grosjean to spend another night in hospital, keen for Abu Dhabi return

Other hosts such as Azerbaijan and China have also been in the spotlight for their rights records, while Hamilton has been prominent in supporting Black Lives Matter protests in the United States.

"I think we've been very clear about our commitment to human rights, we're very clear about our cooperation and collaboration with our partners, to improve and advance the human rights issues," said Carey.

"I think we're proud of our commitment to human rights.

"We are very proud of our partnership here in Bahrain. We're proud to partner with Bahrainis."

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :