Three-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says he sees city races as the sport’s future and wants to see more of them on the calendar.
It’s fair to say some of the newer circuits on the F1 schedule aren’t particularly exciting and are located far away from big cities.
This is a big issue for F1, according to Hamilton – he brings up the Chinese Grand Prix track as an example.
The Brit believes city races are the future of F1 and wants to see more street circuits – like the Circuit de Monaco, Baku City Circuit and Marina Bay Street Circuit – added to the calendar.
With new F1 owners Liberty Media looking to expand the calendar, Hamilton said street tracks could be the way to go. Here’s what he said during a UBS live stream on Facebook:
“I’m not necessarily a big fan of a lot of the new circuits that we get. Some of them are so far outside of a city, people have to commute so far. When we go to China, for example, such a great city, with so many people, it’s such a big commute. It’s a great track, but I don’t know why they’ve built it so far away.
“I think the future is city circuits – that’s my belief. I hope they introduce more city circuits. I think New York would be amazing. The [United] States is such a big part of the world and we only have one Grand Prix there.”
He also admitted F1 is hard for people to relate to, and that the sport needs to consider where the fans are when it’s deciding where to race at:
“I think the biggest problem with Formula 1 and motor racing is that it’s very hard to relate to. If you want to feel what it’s like to be [footballer Lionel] Messi, you can just go down to the shop, buy a ball and kick it around in the field or go and play in a team.
“You can’t go and do what I do, you just can’t. There are only 22 of us in the world, there’s nothing you can do that gets close to what I do. It’s hard for people to even imagine what the experience is like, which I think is tough. Then we have these single races in these countries, so [fans] have to wait a whole year to have that experience again.
“I think at least another race over there [in the US], maybe. We’ve got some races in some places where there are just no fans. Why the hell do we have a race in some of these places? It’s the fans that make the event. When you go to Silverstone it’s one of the greatest races of the year, because it’s packed – the fans make it, it’s an event. I think we need to be in places where there are actual fans that want to have a race.”