Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2022

Announce return to South Africa next, Hamilton tells F1 after Las Vegas joins calendar

2022 Australian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton is keeping up his calls for Formula 1 to return to Africa following last week’s announcement of a new race in Las Vegas.

The seven-times world champion has urged the sport to return to the continent on several occasions, saying in 2020 it was “important” F1 had a race there. Last week the series announced its third race in the USA, to take place in Las Vegas, which Hamilton welcomed.

“It’s amazing that we have bridged a relationship that we have now three races on one continent,” said Hamilton. “I think that’s going to be awesome, I think it’ll be good for the business, I think Vegas will be an awesome addition.”

“But the one I really, really want to see is South Africa. That’s the one I want to hear next that gets announced.”

Africa is the only inhabited continent which does not appear on the 2022 F1 calendar. F1 last visited the region in 1993 for a race at the Kyalami circuit in Johannesburg.

“We’re pretty much on every other continent, so why not?” Hamilton added. “And ultimately, my ancestors are from there so that’s why it is important for me personally.”

Hamilton’s father Anthony was involved in a proposal to hold an F1 race in Cape Town in the mid-2010s which did not come to fruition.

Other F1 drivers also praised the latest addition to the schedule. “I’m super happy, Formula 1 is becoming a bit more American,” said Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

“It’s great to see how the sport is growing so much in the States and in North America. Vegas is going to be a fantastic opportunity for the sport and for the fans to really see the cars. I just think it’s a great combination: F1 with Vegas, it’s fantastic.”

Valtteri Bottas expects the race will be “a fun weekend.”

“Like Lewis said, it’s good to see three races in the US. Obviously the fanbase has been really growing quite a bit, and there’s more and more support from US fans.

“So I’m sure it’s going to be amazing weekend. But the next one for me I want to see is Finland.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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27 comments on “Announce return to South Africa next, Hamilton tells F1 after Las Vegas joins calendar”

  1. How about you put your money where your mouth is to get the South African GP off the ground, Mr Hamilton?
    Requesting other people to pay for it is bound to be met with resistance.

    1. I am pretty sure Hamilton is already spending both his money and putting his reputation behind things that help more people than if he would be funding a race in S.A. S

      1. I want things too, but I won’t get them if I don’t do substantially more than just than say so.

        When someone with that much money demands that other people pay for things that they want – no matter how good an idea it is – it does produce an unpleasant image.

    2. Wow grow up man.

    3. “It’s amazing that we have bridged a relationship that we have now three races on one continent,” said Hamilton. “I think that’s going to be awesome, I think it’ll be good for the business, I think Vegas will be an awesome addition.”

      “But the one I really, really want to see is South Africa. That’s the one I want to hear next that gets announced.”

      Seems to me that he was asked a question and he answered it. There are a lot of social media comments off racefans too, like yours, which say he should pay or put his money where his mouth is. As far as I understand it is up to the formula 1 management to organise where to race, Hamilton has an opinion on where he’d like to race next and he said South Africa which incidentally is a very valis point as the continent of Africa has zero races. Bottas was also asked the same question it seems and he said Finland. Where is your comment that Bottas should pay for a Finnish grandprix?

      1. Schumacher said Germany, and Ocon responded with he wouldn’t like to see France lose out. But yes you are right. It seems it’s only the driver who said South Africa who has ruffled a few feathers.

        1. I think it’s because he’s said it before, and is one of very few people who have said it that can actually afford to make it happen.

          But it’s okay. I can handle the stacks-on by Hamilton fans. Happens on a daily basis on this site.

          1. Incidentally it’s funny that you immediately think my comment is a stack on by a Hamilton fan. I am indifferent about both Hamilton and Verstappen as you can verify for yourself.

          2. F1/Liberty have had Las Vegas and Africa at the top of their agenda for some time. Domenicali spoke about it just a few weeks ago So your few who have spoken about it recently includes F1 and Liberty. A little research also shows Sky, President of South Africa, CEO of SA Grand Prix and other of that ilk also want it.
            Yet you think it should be promoted by a driver because none of the above can afford it.

          3. Vegas has the money, Africa doesn’t, ian. They also have a huge, well funded captive market.

            It means nothing for F1 and Liberty to say they want an African GP when they don’t have to fund it, but instead get to sell it and make huge profits from it. Sky distribute the broadcast, so they’ll happily support it too.
            Lots of governments say they want an F1 GP, but it’s another thing to cough up as much as F1 are demanding for the privilege – which is why they inevitably don’t get one.

            Imagine how much better the business case is when the most results-successful and marketable F1 driver ever reaches into their (very deep) pockets to support it…. That alone attracts more commercial partnership confidence, as it makes the proposal far more sturdy and legitimate.

            Sepang lost their GP for the same reason Africa doesn’t have one. The local economy simply doesn’t have the means to meet F1’s astronomical hosting fees without enormous government support.
            Without wealthy private or government backing, poorer economies have been priced out of F1 – unless F1 gets into some charity work, which would undoubtedly upset some of the other promoters they deal with.

      2. OK. If Bottas wants a race in Finland, he should pay for it.
        How’s that, @broke1984?

        1. Better S. but no driver should have to or even be suggested to have to pay for a race. Liberty should make things happen, not the drivers. They can use their platforms to bring attention to things but not fork out for a race.

          1. Then I guess Liberty don’t want it.
            Why? Money, of course.

            If all the drivers are doing is bringing attention to things, then that isn’t actually doing anything. That’s talk, not action.

  2. Oh, and while I’m here, am I the only one who can’t see any photos on this site anymore?
    Haven’t seen any since the ‘Haas has no spare car’ article.
    All the old photos are still there and accessible, but none of the recent article photos are there. Clicking on them leads to a dead link or “You’ve crashed” page.


    1. I also get pages without pictures (like on this page) or just an empty white area where the picture is supposed to go @keithcollantine.

      1. Same for me can’t see any pictures

    2. images on this page work for me

    3. Using Chrome no pictures on all articles.

      South Africa noble idea but there is no money there and the rich poor divide is way too great (even worse then Brasil) I don’t see how this can happen. Probally only if Lewis personaly paying for everything.

      As i have family there compared with the Netherlands even the normal well paid people earn 1/3 of the Dutch. If they have to pay the same fee 60 Million the impact there is 180 Million. I think we can beter wait for atleast 10 Years so the riches can grow a bit they can afford a GP.

      1. Yeah, I totally agree. But that’s the point – if Hamilton wants it, he has to fund it.
        Africa has no GP because of a lack of finances – not due to a lack of interest in having one.

    4. @S You aren’t alone. I’ve equally got articles without images since yesterday, not that I hugely mind.
      @bascb @qeki

  3. They should absolutely have a race, but South Africa needs to have a viable financial bid to hold the race, and pay the race fee just like every other race does. This cannot be awarded on charity. My govenment pays for the right to hold a race which is paid for in the taxes I pay. If the bid is awarded on charity effectively tax payers money from other countries is paying for it. Let the rich fund it, not the common tax payer.

    1. @leeroy I suppose the same should apply to things like access to decent food, water, housing, medicines etc…?? Let’s make sure those with less than us stay that way… Maybe if F1 were to go to less well of areas, they would help generate more investment in these areas so they can improve quality of life and reduce global wealth disparity? Monaco pays the lowest fees and they’re probably most able to pay fees. Time for F1 to back up the hollow talk of equality with action.

  4. Here before F1 announces the new Cape Town Street Circuit.

    I mean, any race in RSA would be rad, but this would be a waste of money when there’s an awesome Grade A circuit near one of the largest cities in the world. Either way, RSA instead of KSA would be nice.

    Also, doesn’t Marrakesh have a track too? The Moroccan GP can actually be a part of the European leg, it’s so close to Spain.

  5. Easy for him to ask. For now, I can’t really see a Finnish GP happening, mainly over hosting fees.

  6. Unfortunately there are diminishing number of South Africans who would buy Rolex watches, fly Emirates airline, or need to be brainwashed of Saudi Arabia’s reputation. It doesn’t work with F1’s marketing strategy.

  7. we have now three races on one continent

    wow, this guy… The more he talks, the worse he sounds.


    United Kingdom

    Oh, and that’s just 2022.

    But let’s… let’s look at the continent of NORTH AMERICA?!

    United States

    Hey, that’s three! It’s been three for quite some time, now! Let’s add the two in the United States?

    Las Vegas*

    (that’s 5, my guy)

    OH! HOW ABOUT ASIA!? (In 2019, when all things were.. not covid)


    Also 3!!

    And if things went according to plan, the race in Vietnam was not going to replace an Asian round, was it? So that’d be 4. On one continent.

    My guy. Mr. Hamilton. Think first. Speak later.

    1. This was a really long comment just to have a go at somebody who accidentally said continent instead of country. Totally normal stuff.

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