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Amna Al Qubaisi at the Italian Formula 4 Championship in Monza in May this year.
Photo: Guido De Bortoli (Getty Images for Kaspersky Lab)

Only six months after the country lifted the ban on driving for womenSeveral racers will participate in one Formula E Test session on the Saudi Arab Roads. The test will take place right after the Formula E race in the city of Ad Diriyah on the 15th of Decemberand at least seven women will drive in it.

The Formula E, a purely electric racing series that is only a few years old Manufacturers poured into it In order to test their electrical engineering under tough racing conditions, female drivers are also pouring in – at least for one day. Seven of the listed 22 places for the first E season trial in Ad Diriyah next season are women and a Formula E announcement The other two teams are also looking for female riders for the test.

The women currently on the list include Sauber Formula 1 test driver Tatiana Calderon, Formula 4 driver Amna Al Qubaisi, British Formula 3 winner Jamie Chadwick, Supercars driver Simona de Silvestro, Beitske Visser of BMW Motorsport, IMSA driver Katherine Legge and former Lotus F1 development driver Carmen Jorda, They make up almost a third of the drivers in the test.

It's great to hear women immerse in typical male races. But there is a lot going on under the seemingly positive surface, such as the report that the Formula E team has offered – of which no woman will actually have a wife in the next season entry list the series published last week – an incentive to book women for the test session.

The incentive is that every team that books a woman for the test gets an extra car during the test, so one Motorsport.com Report. Here was the exact text from the story:

Formula E will do a test in the season after Ad Diriyah ePrix. Additional slots are given to teams that lead a female driver in addition to their regular racers.

All teams leaving a female driver are allowed to drive two cars in each session.

Audi and Jaguar are the only teams to complete a single entry during the test.

More cars during a test session mean more data that you can build for the season. Jalopnik has contacted Formula E to confirm that teams that put a female rider into their test line will get an extra car, as Motorsport.com reports, and update it when we hear that.

In most situations it is understandable to incentivize teams to include women in their lineups. People often need a push or sometimes a hard push to break their habit of overlooking other candidates in favor of those who look like racers, who are mostly white and white in the story. If incentive is offered here, it all feels a bit icky – as if the goal was to make the headlines of all women testing, not about another international motorsport go to a country known for his oppression,

Formula E starts its season at the end of a year and takes it well into next year, which means the 2018-2019 season will start next month. This year's opener and the site of the test session is the road course in Saudi Arabia, which, as you may know, Record of human rights violations Women and people in the LGBTQ + spectrum are here women only have could drive legally in the country since June of this year, At long last.

So it was a shock when Formula E announced a 10-year agreement with the sports organizations in a country like that focused on oil production and so there is a lack of basic rights, such as female driving, because the series has such advanced vehicle technology. (This is the series that Flip-flops on lattice girlsSo you know.)

When asked about the impact of the move on women and other groups of journalist and Jalopnik employee Hazel Southwell to the Motorsport101Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said that the involvement of women in Saudi Arabia would be a priority:

Of course, we have received full assurances. In fact, it was the Saudi authorities' request that women attend and participate in Formula E. If they are not in a race team, we will organize a women's opportunity to ride the track, make a demonstration that is really the intention of the new years of Saudi Arabia to present this change.

Women are allowed to attend the event as spectators, obviously women who come from abroad, like you, may come, work and report on the race. We see this as a major element of change in a country that did not have all rights in the past.

And there will be female driving, as the Formula E allegedly offered the extra car as a reward. The end result is positive: people who break the typical white male mold, who is becoming more and more of the driving world, normalizing their presence there and showing off their skills to a wider audience.

However, the way there was twisted, and as we have seen from the purely male cast for the Formula E season next year, the triumph could be mostly short-lived.

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