"I don't know the background. To be honest, I don't care about this. So we go there, we race there and that's it," said Franz Tost of the Austrian Formula One race team during a press conference at the Hungarian Grand Prix while responding to questions about the host country's rights record.
Tost 59, who is currently the team principal of the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One team brushed of voiced criticisms adding "If we will be put into the corned to say, OK, we should not go into a country where maybe the press freedom is not at a certain level or any other issues, then I don't know where we go racing. Then we have problems with China, then we have problems with Russia, then maybe we have problems with Brazil, then any country...we just go there, make our show, present our sport and that's it and therefore we should go".
This is not the first time Azerbaijan's rights track is dismissed by an international event. During the inaugural European Games, Chief Operatin Officer of Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) Simon Clegg said "Sport can be a great catalyst for chage. There will be global coverage of the country which we believe will show how far it has come and will spotlight the friendliness of the people in Azerbaijan" when asked the question about Azerbaijan's human rights record.