Lewis Hamilton addresses Las Vegas locals as F1 race causes huge disruption

Sam Cooper
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell wave to the Las Vegas crowd.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell wave to the crowd.

Lewis Hamilton has urged Formula 1 to be “respectful” after numerous complaints from Las Vegas residents were raised.

The regular citizens of Vegas, which has a population of around 640,000, have seen their lives upended in recent weeks as the city puts the final touches to their F1 preparations.

But the manner in which it has been done has made for plenty of disgruntled locals who have been met with increased traffic and hits to their wallet.

Lewis Hamilton wants respect for Las Vegas locals

Even if a Vegas resident is not going to the race, they will have found their lives have gotten more expensive with reports of surcharges being added to taxi fares, premiums placed on venues overlooking the track and more time spent in their personal cars to navigate the diversions caused from shutting down the Strip.

It has led to a feeling of ill will amongst some redisnets and Hamilton has urged the sport to be respectful of the citizens.

“I’ve heard there’s been a lot of complaints about the event being here from the locals,” Hamilton told Sky Sports.

“I think we have to be respectful of the locals here, so many people working so hard – there’s a lot of money and wealth in this city.

“We’ve got to make sure people are taken care of. We can’t be a circus that shows up that’s all glitz and glamour and people are affected negatively by it, in my opinion.”

The negativity has been such that Liberty Media’s CEO Greg Maffei apologised to the local residents.

“I want to apologise to all the Las Vegas residents and we appreciate that they have their forbearance and their willingness to tolerate us,” Maffei said.

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However, Maffei also suggested F1 brings plenty of positives too.

“We’re going to bring something like $1.7 billion of revenue to the area,” he continued. “So it’s not just for the benefit of fans who want to view. We hope this is a great economic benefit in Las Vegas.

“We hope this is the most difficult year with all the construction that went on and things will be easier in the future.”

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