F1 can be "force for progress" in Saudi Arabi - Carey
Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey has defended the decision to visit Saudi Arabia as part of the world championship by saying he believes the sport can be a "force for good and progress" in the region.
F1 has been criticised for opting to visit Saudi Arabia given its abysmal human rights record, and for its attempts at 'sportwashing' as other high-profile events have taken place in the country in the past.
Carey, who steps down from his role at the end of the season, insisted the Saudi Grand Prix would provide an exciting spectacle and expressed his hope that the sport could instigate a crossing of bridges towards the Kingdom.
"Well, we are very excited to be racing in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah next year," he told Sky Sports F1.
"I think they will put on an event that is truly a spectacle in the greatest sense. For us, what makes the sport so great is having locations that capture the world's imagination with great energy and great spirit.
"We are excited to really have it be an opportunity for us to bring something new to an important place in the world.
"I think sports play an important role in crossing borders, crossing cultures and in many ways being a force for good and progress. We think we can bring that to Saudi Arabia."
Ahead of the release of the calendar, the Vietnam Grand Prix was dropped from the schedule amidst allegations of corruption.
Asked whether Turkey was in talks over filling the gap in April left by the Hanoi circuit, Carey revealed multiple venues were under consideration and that a decision would be made in the near future.
"We are in discussions with a number of locations about a race," he explained.
"I think we thought it was important to get the calendar out. Most of the places, they want to start selling tickets and building for their events. We have that slot to fill out and we look forward to doing that in the short term."
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