'The one I really want to see is South Africa,' says Lewis Hamilton on next F1 race addition

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Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has said he wants to see South Africa added to the Formula 1 calendar.

According to a report by ESPN earlier in April, Hamilton is keen to see F1 add a race in South Africa.

"Africa remains the only continent without a race on the current schedule.

"The one I really, really want to see is South Africa," he added. "That's the one I really want to hear next that gets announced."

Hamilton's wish for South Africa to be added to the calendar came after he expressed his delight about the sport growing in America, with Las Vegas being added to the 2023 calendar.

INTERVIEW | Is Formula 1 coming back to SA? Kyalami owner Toby Venter explains

In 2021, when Stefano Domenicali announced Germany would not be on this year's race calendar, the rumour mill went into overdrive.

He also mentioned the sport was in talks with some African countries to bring the sport back to the continent.

Domenicali and several F1 drivers have long wished to return to our iconic venue in Midrand, the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. The South African Grand Prix was last held locally in 1993.

Earlier in January, Wheels24 reported that Domenicali admitted, due to widespread interest, that he could have 'easily' announced a 30-race schedule for the 2022 campaign, but the sport had opted against it. Also, F1's Concorde Agreement, which binds all teams to the sport, caps the number of races per season at 24.

The 2022 calendar is now at 22 races since the Russian Grand Prix was cancelled indefinitely due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Domenicali is looking for a replacement venue, and possibly adding a 24th race to this year's season calendar.

Earlier in 2021, Kyalami owner Toby Venter told Wheels24 in an interview that he is constantly chatting to the powers-that-be at Formula 1.

Venter said at the time: "We want to have a race in Africa, and we want someone to pay for it. If the money is there, the race will happen. And, if F1 is desperate to race in Africa, even without the money, we have the track."

Venter says the racetrack is already a world-class venue, and getting it Grade 1 ready would only need a minor revision.

"The most important thing is that it's safer than a street circuit. The FIA would need to come over for inspection, and they'll ask for some upgrades, like installing the sport's hi-tech barriers. We'll also need to work on some more run-off areas and make it safer here and there."

He also said: "If there is no way the government will fund the sport, we have the track; Formula 1 has the show; there must be a deal somewhere."


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