Lewis Hamilton wants Formula 1 to return to South Africa

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton says it’s “most important” to him to see Formula 1 return to South Africa, to “highlight how beautiful the motherland is”.

Recently there has been a lot of talk about Formula 1 expanding to new locations. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said talks have been held concerning Formula 1’s potential return to the Kyalami Circuit in South Africa.

The last time Formula 1 raced in South Africa was in 1993, and that race was won by Alain Prost, who drove for Williams at the time.

At the United States Grand Prix Thursday press conference Lewis Hamilton was asked if there are any countries that currently don’t have a grand prix, that he thinks should be included in the calendar.

“The place that I really feel, to my heart, is most important to me is to get a race back in South Africa,” the Briton said

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

Lewis also acknowledged that the US should have more than one race.

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

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

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

The seven-time champion also commented on the rise in popularity Formula 1 is experiencing in the US, in part thanks to Netflix’s documentary series ‘Drive to Survive’.

“I think we already knew from the beginning that there was huge potential here. My first race in the US was in 2007.

“But I’ve already been to a NASCAR race, seeing how it is and to an NFL game, an NBA game, you see they are just crazy about sports over here and there is never enough sports, they always want more.

“The progress I have seen over these years has been huge. Of course, in these last couple of years, it has been the steepest rise and more and more people talking about it, more and more people engaging.

“The amount of emails and messages I have been getting from people I have known in the States but never knew what I was doing, are now hooked and can’t wait to come. I think a lot of them are coming this weekend so I think that is only good.

“It is a good thing and it is great to see the response,” Hamilton concluded.

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