Hamilton warns lack of title fight has negatively impacted F1’s popularity

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton says Formula 1 needs to make sure that “the governing body is making the right decisions to keep us close and great racing right to the end”.

Ahead of the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton commented on F1’s rise in popularity in the United States.

“I think it’s [about] continuing to engage with the outside world and, and as I was mentioned before, really creating more accessibility,” the Briton said.

“I think before, when I used to come out to the States, like 2007, the first time out here, and for many, many years, every time we stepped for that one race, that sometimes did and sometimes didn’t happen in the years, you always find yourself just repeating yourself, educating.

“I couldn’t fully understand when I went to NFL games, NBA games, seeing how passionate the Americans are about sport, how they hadn’t yet caught the bug that many of us grew up catching when we were younger.

“And so it’s been really, really amazing to see that so many, the whole country, really, a large portion of the country is now speaking about it. People own simulators, everyone wants to be a driver! So, it’s been great to see.”

However, Lewis warns Red Bull’s domination and lack of close competition until the end of the season has started to negatively impact F1’s overall popularity.

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“I think we have to continue to look at what is next. Having the three races out here in such a huge nation, I think is massively helpful.

“Within our sport, we have to continue to work on making sure we’re having close racing, because I think you’ve seen the social engagement drop a huge amount this year.

“So, it’s obviously heavily impacted on competition. People want to see that.

“So, we have to make sure that we’re making the right decisions, or the governing body is making the right decisions, to keep us close and great racing right to the end.

“We need to have more grandstands. I don’t know whether we need to lower the cost but maybe, I don’t know.

“And then just looking in these different places, making sure that when we go into these different countries, we’re working also on the impact, not just a circus that arrives and leaves a mess behind.

“But looking at how we can really leave a legacy behind in each of these places that we go to,” Hamilton concluded.

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