Hamilton wants more urban Formula One racing: ‘Fans are the essence of the sport’

Ewan Gill and Lars Liftink

Lewis Hamilton has expressed his support for developments in the current F1 calendar. The sport is increasingly moving to arenas in large cities. The Miami Grand Prix was first on the calendar last weekend, while Jeddah is another venue in the city that was added last year.

Continuing this trend, the sport announced earlier this year that racing will start in Las Vegas from 2023. The addition of such locations threatens historic circuits in Europe. Hamilton is in favor of historical episodes, but he also knows that audiences matter. “Look, I’m kind of old fashioned. So of course I like history, especially some of the tracks. But as I get older I realize it’s about people. We can go somewhere far away with a few people, no good accommodations, not a community Great. For us as individuals, driving on a historic track is great, but it’s about the people.”

Fans are very important

In recent years, Hamilton has noticed what it means to have no fans around this weekend’s race. According to Brit, this clearly indicates that fans should be F1 and the FIA’s top priority. “The fans really make the sport. We went through it with the pandemic, when nobody was there. Then there was no atmosphere. It was like a test day, it wasn’t fun. And now we see hundreds of thousands of people coming into the race full of energy, enthusiasm and passion to try it out. The fans are at the heart of the sport. They make the sport.”

City races are good for fans

In the lead up to the Miami Grand Prix, there were a number of driver-led events and individual projects. Hamilton continued his advocacy for greater equality in Formula 1 by meeting children from different backgrounds, while Sebastian Vettel made his own visit to promote various social issues in the region. Hamilton is happy about this. “I think we’re in cities where we can really connect with communities and also have a real impact. I love the Nürburgring, for example, but there isn’t a diverse community there. We don’t really influence the place there. In cities we can do something. I met some kids from different backgrounds, and who now want to study engineering, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This is much better for me.”

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