Drinking and driving: Will an F1 race mark the end of Saudi Arabia’s ban on alcohol?

The podium celebration will be under heavy scrutiny

The Muslim Times has the best collection to combat alcohol addiction. Suggested reading: Scientific evidence keeps pilling against alcohol: Now it is about stroke

Dec 4th 2021

This year the drivers of Formula 1 (f1) made a change: instead of celebrating after a race by spraying each other with champagne, they switched to sparkling wine. Not to be frugal—f1 is not that kind of sport—but because of a new sponsorship deal. Officials in Saudi Arabia face a harder decision. The kingdom, which will host a race on December 5th, bans alcohol. Some, though, think it may loosen up for the event. “Champagne is part of the ceremony,” says a royal adviser. “Jeddah [the host city] will have seen nothing like it.”

Saudi-watchers predict boozy parties on yachts and, perhaps, at select venues on land. That would be in keeping with the reforms of Muhammad bin Salman, the crown prince, who has ignored puritanical clerics and curbed the morality police, while breaking taboos by opening up cinemas and letting women drive. Concerts were largely prohibited not long ago; now female djs jive in public. The f1 race could mark the lifting of the alcohol ban, says a senior official.

Read more here … https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2021/12/04/will-an-f1-race-mark-the-end-of-saudi-arabias-ban-on-alcohol

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