Lewis Hamilton pushes for a Formula 1 round in Africa

Lewis Hamilton pushes for a Formula 1 round in Africa

Lewis Hamilton has made it clear that he does not believe that America needs any more races, as he revealed that he has been actively pushing for a Formula 1 round in Africa.

The 2023 F1 season has seen three rounds in the United States as the most recent one was held in Las Vegas last weekend, following visits to Miami and Austin.

But some race fans are getting weary of the growing number of race weekends in America, which has led to controversy surrounding the Las Vegas race weekend.

Over the past two seasons American races have been added to the Formula 1 calendar, including Miami and Vegas. This development coincides with a deliberate effort by F1 owners Liberty Media to expand the sport’s fan base.

Over the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend, F1 non-executive chairman Chase Carey hinted that the sport may be looking to move on to New York, but Hamilton has called for a three-race limit on F1 events held in the United States.

The seven-time world champion also thinks that F1 needs to focus more on Africa.

“It’s not my job to decide how many races there is [in America], but we definitely don’t need any more. We definitely don’t need any more races,” Hamilton told Sky F1.

“There’s one more race we need and that’s going to be Africa. We have all the other continents and why not there? So that’s the one I’m working on pushing right now.”

Formula 1 hasn’t made any trips to the African continent since 1993, when Williams driver Alain Prost won the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami. The plan to bring back the race as a replacement for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa last year almost succeeded, but it eventually failed.

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When Hamilton made his Formula One debut in 2007, there was only one American circuit on the F1 calendar. The Brit who was a McLaren driver at the time secured his second career victory at Indianapolis in just his seventh grand prix appearance.

After a four-year hiatus, the United States made a comeback in 2012 with the inauguration of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, an event that Hamilton also won.

Over his career, F1 has grown significantly in popularity in the US, as Hamilton has revealed. However, in his early days, fans’ knowledge and appreciation of the sport was limited.

“I remember we had a race in 2007 out here and I found myself constantly trying to educate a new audience,” the Mercedes driver said. “It’s like they’ve never heard of anything that we were doing.

“I was like: ‘How haven’t they got the same kind of excitement that we have that we’ve grown up with, our culture?’

“It’s been amazing to see the change, the shift.”

Since Liberty Media purchased the F1 rights in 2017, American viewership has shot up. But not just in the USA, the Netflix series “Drive to Survive” was a major factor in igniting interest in the sport across the board.

In recent years, there has been a sharp rise in viewership, with record numbers of fans attending grand prix weekends.

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