Current F1 owner Liberty Media has followed a path of seeking new additions to the calendar in large population areas, rather than permanent venues in the middle of nowhere.
With Miami and Jeddah having recently hosted races at the city’s tracks, a new grand prix is set to take place in Las Vegas next year.
While many in F1 believe the presence of old-school classic racing is important, seven-time champion Hamilton said in Miami last week that it made perfect sense to maximize a race’s impact by having it near the greater number of fans.
“I’m a bit old school,” he said. “So of course I love history, especially in certain circuits, but the older I get the more I realize it’s about the people.
“We could go to the middle of nowhere where there are very few people, not good accommodation, not a big community and for us as individuals to ride on a historic track is cool – but it’s cool. is about people.
“And people are really getting there. We had a pandemic, no one being there and it’s just not an atmosphere. It was like a test day, it was not pleasant.
“Now we see hundreds of thousands of people showing up for the race, full of energy, excited, eager to know more.”
Hamilton says F1 will be best served in future by racing in easily accessible urban environments
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Hamilton believes that as F1 capitalizes on interest from a wider fan base, helped in part by the Netflix effect, hosting races in cities also provides opportunities for more diverse sections from the community.
MORE: Why Netflix isn’t the only reason for F1’s modern boom
“I think the fans are at the heart of what this sport is, they create it,” he said.
“Being in cities where we can really engage with communities and have an impact as well.
“I love the Nurburgring, for example, but there’s not a diverse community there. We don’t really have an impact on the place.
“In Miami, we can do something. I’ve met a bunch of kids from different backgrounds, who now want to get into engineering and STEM subjects and so that’s a lot cooler for me.