F1 CEO suggests Hamilton’s wish for race in ‘beautiful motherland’ could come true

“I think there is a great following out there and I think it would be great to highlight how beautiful the motherland is,” Sir Lewis Hamilton said.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.v1

Formula 1 chief executive officer Stefano Domenicali has not ruled out a return to South Africa, with Sir Lewis Hamilton having outwardly supported a race there.

F1 held 23 grand prix in the country between 1962 and 1993, with 20 of them taking place at the Kyalami Circuit.

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There has been no race in the continent of Africa since the final grand prix at Kyalami almost two decades ago, which was won by Williams’ Alain Prost.

Previously, Hamilton spoke of his desire for F1 to once again hold a grand prix in the rainbow nation.

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“I think there is a great following out there and I think it would be great to highlight how beautiful the motherland is,” Hamilton said.

The sport will host a second race in the United States this year, with a street race in Miami forming the fifth round of the season, and the Briton reckons there is plenty of unlocked potential for the sport across the pond.

“The US Grand Prix is fantastic, It’s such a huge country.

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“Having just one race here for sure is not enough to really tap into the sporting culture here and really encapsulate the fans and get them on a journey with us. I think definitely we need to have two,” he added.

Hamilton is excited to go to Miami, and hopes that the travelling circus visits more iconic cities in the US in the future, adding that it would be beneficial for F1’s image.

“But there are so many great cities to have a Grand Prix. They are going to have one in Miami – it will be incredible, as is Austin. I don’t know where they will have the next one.”

The 37-year-old opines that having multiple races in every continent can only be a positive.

“I think that’s quite cool, having these kind of little mini-championships in each continent. It’s not a bad thing for the sport.”

Domenicali has said he agrees, and he aims to make F1’s Miami debut a strong one.

“As I said, the US is important to us and we are working hard to make Miami a success in 2022,” the former Ferrari team boss said in an interview with Sport1.

Stefano Domenicali comments on London Grand Prix.v1

With Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou having just entered the sport with Alfa Romeo, the Italian feels it is important for Formula 1 to have a strong presence in Asia as well.

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“The other region that we shouldn’t underestimate is the Far East, especially with Guanyu Zhou, who now drives for Alfa Romeo,” he explained.

“Interest from China is growing, which is why the region will also move into our focus,” the former Ferrari team principal added.

Speaking on Hamilton’s hopes for a race in South Africa, the 56-year-old does not see why that cannot happen.

“A comeback in Africa – whether in the north or south – would be great.”

However, hosting races in multiple countries has proven a difficult and arduous task since the turn of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ever-changing situation is not something organisers can ever take for granted.

“How quickly this works will also depend on the situation around Covid, We must not continue to underestimate the corona pandemic.

“We could also have to adjust the calendar again in 2022,” said Domenicali.

Formula 1 will hold a 23-race calendar in 2022, with Miami being added to what was already a busy year in 2021.

The action will kick off on 20 March in Bahrain, with the season running until 20 November – the date of the season-ending 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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