A Saudi woman has made history by driving a Formula One car as the ban on female drivers is lifted in the conservative country.

Aseel Al-Hamad, the first woman to join the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation drove a Lotus Renault E20 car around the Circuit Paul Ricard before a race at the French Grand Prix.

It was the same car that Finnish driver Kimmi Raikkonen drove when he won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2012.

In a statement released by Renault, Al-Hamad said:

I have loved racing and motorsport from a very young age and to drive a Formula One car goes even beyond my dreams and what I thought was possible.

I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and spirit to dream.

Lots of people took to Twitter to congratulate her:

And offered kudos to Renault for making it happen

A royal decree went into effect on Sunday, for the first time in the country’s history, lifting the ban on women driving.

The order overturned a longstanding policy which had become a powerful summon of oppression, and droves of women took the opportunity to convert foreign driving licences and take to the streets for the first time.

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