Cut To The Race Podcast

Hamilton believes city races could be F1’s future

Seven-time World Champion places emphasis on fan communities

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Lewis Hamilton believes city races could be F1’s future if it is to continue to grow.  F1 street circuits have exploded in F1 since 2008.  Singapore, Baku and Sochi now add to the existence of Monaco, Melbourne, and Montreal. The failed Valencia track that now lies decaying was also an attempted street race.  The key to these races is the large potential spectator count, usually from the city itself. 

Motorsport.com is reporting Lewis Hamilton has said that it is this logic and fan engagement that is vital to F1’s future. While admitting that he loved what he called the “old school” tracks, he admitted that F1 needs to focus on “the people”. 

“I’m a bit old school,” he said. “So of course, I love the history, particularly in certain circuits, but the older I get, the more I realise it’s about the people.

Lewis Hamilton waves to fans ahead of the Miami Grand Prix (Image Credit: Mercedes AMG G1 Media, LAT Images)

“We could go to the middle of nowhere that has very few people, not great accommodation, not great community and for us, as individuals, driving on a track that’s historic is cool – but it’s about the people.

“And the people really do make it. We’ve experienced with pandemic, no one being in there and that’s just no atmosphere. It was like a test day. It was not enjoyable. And now we’re seeing hundreds of thousands of people turn up to the race, energised, excited, keen to learn more.”

“I think the fans are at the heart of what this sport is about, they create it”. 

For Hamilton, city races are now key to engaging with communities. He believes that F1’s continued growth is leading to an interest in F1 from younger people wanting to pursue a career in the sport. This atmosphere he says is not replicable at an “old school” track: 

“I think, being in cities where we can really engage in communities and actually also have an impact.

“I love the Nurburgring, for example, but there’s not a diverse community there. We’re not actually impacting the place there.

“In Miami we can do something. I met a bunch of kids from diverse backgrounds, who now want to get into engineering and STEM subjects and so, it’s way cooler for me.”

 

Feature Image Credit:The Guardian via Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

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