Lewis Hamilton boost for ‘historic’ circuits looking to cling on to F1 status

Henry Valantine
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton arrives at the track ahead of media day in Saudi Arabia.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton arrives at the track.

Lewis Hamilton believes Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has “no plans to get rid of” the more historic circuits on the calendar.

The Formula 1 schedule is expanding with every year that goes by, with a record 23-race season in the offing this year – already down from the 24 planned with the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix.

But with the increase in races has also brought an increase in demand for where the sport will go next, with Qatar joining the calendar on a full-time basis this year and Las Vegas also coming onto the schedule in 2023 to make it three US races in one season.

Domenicali has stated before that the level of interest in Formula 1 is such that he could comfortably fill a 30-race season, but he wants to keep a lid on the ever-growing calendar where he can, with 24 seen as an upper limit – though a maximum of 25 races is permitted per the Concorde Agreement signed by the teams and FOM.

Mercedes driver and seven-time World Champion Hamilton spoke of his general preference for the classics on the calendar, but is not against going to new places every year.

With that, though, he believes the Formula 1 boss is not about to drop some of the sport’s most iconic tracks from the calendar any time soon.

“Personally, I like the direction it’s going,” Hamilton said of the changes to the calendar, as per Motorsport-Total.com.

“I like the change we’re seeing and it’s exciting to get to other parts of the world and other tracks.

“It’s a challenge for engineers and drivers to visit these new places, but all the old classics like Hungary, Silverstone, Zandvoort and Monza will always be special.

“And I think it’s important that we continue to have them in the DNA of Formula 1. And as far as I know, Stefano [Domenicali] has no plans to get rid of them. It’s good to have a balance.

PlanetF1.com recommends

Toto Wolff reveals ‘super awkward’ element of Lewis Hamilton contract talks

Jody Scheckter: South African GP return thwarted by ‘greed’ at Kyalami

“Of course I love all the older tracks, and old tracks will always be the ones I prefer, [but] maybe 20 or 30 years from now a kid will look at [Miami] as a historic circuit.”

But when it comes to looking to the future, Hamilton reiterated his hope that the sport will return to Africa, with Kyalami in South Africa having been mooted for a place back on the Formula 1 calendar in the coming years.

A deal did not materialise in time for 2023 however, with 1979 World Champion Jody Scheckter blaming “greed” from circuit bosses over hosting fees for why a place for Africa was not secured on the calendar.

“We’ve been to all the other continents and I hope we go to Africa soon because that would be a great experience for the whole circus to get to know the culture there,” Hamilton said.