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Hamilton: F1 can't turn its back on Silverstone

NEWS STORY
25/06/2019

Lewis Hamilton has spoken out in defence of Silverstone, while warning that next year's race at Zandvoort may not live up to expectations.

As it stands, next month's Grand Prix at Silverstone is the last.

The circuit's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), having finally woken up to the fact that the ever increasing hosting fees don't make financial sense, is looking either for a reduction in said fee - a move that other promoters will watch with interest - or some other deal that will give it the (financial) incentive to continue.

While the sport's owners have made no secret of their desire to keep all such negotiations behind closed doors, many see the lack of news as a bad sign.

Looking ahead to what could be his last home race, Hamilton is concerned for the future.

"There are some really awesome circuits and Silverstone is one of them," he said. "The UK is amongst the foundation of what this sport is and if you start taking away the legendary races and it's all just new ones, you lose all the history and all the culture which is what Formula 1 is.

"So I truly believe they have to keep Formula 1 in the UK and particularly Silverstone," he continued, "it's such an awesome track, such an awesome place. One of the biggest turnouts of all season. You can't turn your back on that.

"It wouldn't be bad to have two races in UK, because I think London would be awesome for the country and tourism and all that kind of stuff," he added, a nod to FOM's admitted desire to host a race on the streets of (east) London.

"I don't know if it will happen," he admitted. "As long as we have one of them.

"We have all these great tracks in the UK, I don't know who designed them all but they did a great job," he said, Silverstone having been a WWII Royal Air Force bomber station.

With two 'new' additions to the 2020 calendar, in the form of the Dutch and Vietnam Grand Prix, Hamilton says that FOM is doing a good job, though he clearly has his doubts about the suitability of Zandvoort.

"Liberty is doing a good job in terms of bringing other places into the sport," he said. "We've just got to be careful though that when choosing tracks you choose places with a great fan base and yes we've got to create new fan bases in places, but also got to find a track that's going to deliver exciting races.

"Sometimes I can already tell you how bad the race is going to be, in some of the places they have decided to bring on," he added. "There's great places and a big fan base there but the race isn't going to be great.

"I'm not going to say where that is but you will see next year."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Scenic, 27/06/2019 8:30

"After 50 years of attending/or watching F1 on TV, I returned to watching Indycar (nee CART) racing at 'Road America' last weekend. I'd forgotten the excitement of very close racing, very fast pit stops - including fuel - with little space between the pits, and in this case one of the world's best tracks. The drivers were allowed to RACE, including many unpenalised track excursions and the odd contact. The 'push to pass' was new to me, but could work in F1. "

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2. Posted by mickl, 26/06/2019 13:20

"I reckon there will be a year or two break from Silverstone and then it can be called a new contract that has been negotiated. This takes away the precedent of a circuit owner with an existing contract re-negotiating a better deal on that contract otherwise every other circuit on the calender will go "Hold on, we want to re-noegotiate too"."

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3. Posted by Anthony, 25/06/2019 16:03

"London politics will never allow an F1 race to take place in London (or at least until F1 goes electric!)."

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