Lewis Hamilton says he’s continuing to press Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali about the prospect of adding a grand prix in Africa.
The F1 calendar currently competes in all but one of the earth’s continents, but the World Championship has not visited Africa since the 1993 South African Grand Prix.
However, speaking in 2022, Domenicali, who moved into the role of F1 CEO and president in 2021, stated: “There are areas of the world that want to have Formula 1, and I think that one area that we want to develop is the African area. We are a World Championship, and that’s an area where we are not there.”
But tentative plans to return to the revamped Kyalami circuit for 2024 were shelved earlier this year amid reported concerns that the terms of any contract would not be fulfilled.
Hamilton has been a strong advocate for the sport to race at the historic venue and the Briton reiterated that stance ahead of last weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix.
“I hear there’s a lot of people complaining about the direction that Stefano and Liberty have been going but I think they’ve been doing an amazing job,” Hamilton said.
“This sport is growing massively, it’s going to grow even more once we get this movie out. I’m on to Stefano because I really want to get the race in South Africa or in Africa, so if it’s not South Africa, it will be somewhere else there hopefully, because we’re on all the other continents.”
South Africa was earmarked as a potential replacement for the Belgian Grand Prix, which secured a one-year extension for 2024 upon the news of the Kyalami deal folding.
Meanwhile, Hamilton supported the sport’s continued bid to expand its presence in the United States with the Las Vegas GP now adding to events in both Austin and Miami.
While the inaugural round at the Las Vegas Strip Circuit was met with scathing criticism from some, including Max Verstappen, Hamilton defended F1’s latest addition.
Asked ahead of the on-track action getting underway to offer reasons why he thought Las Vegas was good for the series, Hamilton answered: “Well, the sport continues to grow. It is a business ultimately. It’s just such a big country. I think to really tap into the market here and really captivate the audience here, I think we needed to have at least two races. The one wasn’t enough.
“This [Las Vegas] is one of the most iconic cities there is in the unique cities that they have here amongst the other amazing cities they have in America. All the lights, the show, it is a big show.
He added: “And then we’ve just got to think about the impact that we have in these different places. It’s not just a circus that comes here and then we leave.
“We should look at how we can positively impact the community here and particularly like the kids, so bringing kids to the… in Austin, I brought 60 young girls to the circuit from local communities that never would have the opportunity to go to the track. And hopefully now they’re inspired to be engineers and have gone back to their school and told all their friends.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re also doing stuff like that.”