Lewis Hamilton wants Formula One to host African race

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Lewis Hamilton wants F1 to host a race in Africa

Six-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton wants F1 to have a race in Africa again, calling it the “most important place” for the championship to visit.

F1 has not held a grand prix in Africa since the 1993 South African Grand Prix at Kyalami, the last of 23 races in the country.

Morocco has also held a Formula 1 race, in 1958 at Ain-Diab in Casablanca, and is now a regular Formula E fixture with a Marrakesh round.

South Africa and Morocco have been linked with F1 races as Liberty Media seeks to expand the calendar and has identified a return to the African continent as a priority.

In a video of fan questions with Mercedes team partner Petronas, Hamilton was asked which location he would choose for a new F1 race, and replied:

“Easy, Africa. It’s such an important place to go back. At the moment Formula 1 goes to countries and doesn’t really leave much behind, if anything,” Hamilton said.

“F1 has to shift to being a sport that does go to places and leaves behind something that can really help the communities.”

“I think bringing the attention back to Africa and really highlighting the beautiful place that it is, that’s the most important place we have to go to.”

“It needs to be held where it’s not all about money. It’s about the people. In business, that’s not always the case. That’s something I’m really pushing for,” he added.

A race in Africa would be an opportunity for F1 and Hamilton to further amplify messages of equality and diversity, which has emerged as a key priority in recent weeks.

Hamilton has been a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, and he and the championship have independently set out their own initiatives to try to make grand prix racing more diverse. He said it will be closely linked to his F1 season as well.

 

Chidi Nwoke.

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