Lewis Hamilton urges F1 chiefs to add race back to circuit after 28-year absence

Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has won Grands Prix across most of the sport's famous locales, but there's one country in particular that's missing from the list.

And as speculation grows that F1 is considering plans to end South Africa's 28-year absence from the schedule, Hamilton has implored those in power to revive the race.

The South African Grand Prix made its debut as a stop on the F1 circuit in 1962 and became a frequent fixture until it was discontinued a little more than 30 years later.

Frenchman Alain Prost won the race when it was last held in 1993, while the likes of Niki Lauda (three wins), Nigel Mansell and Jackie Stewart (two apiece) also enjoyed success in previous editions.

Formula 1 will boost its calendar to a record-breaking 23 races next season, although Africa remains without a stop of its own.

Hamilton, 36, was eager to see that change when he spoke to reporters in the build-up to Sunday's United States Grand Prix, perhaps even in time for him to be a part of its return as a driver.

"The place that I really feel, to my heart, is most important to me is to get a race back in South Africa," the defending world champion said.

"I think there is a great following out there and I think it would be great to highlight how beautiful the motherland is."

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The South African GP became a more popular event in the 1960s and cemented its place in F1 after moving to the Kyalami Circuit in 1967.

It was an annual fixture until being suspended for six years (1986-91) when apartheid became a more prevalent issue in the country, eventually returning to the rotation in 1992.

Formula 1's schedule for the 2022 campaign has already been confirmed, but it's believed organisers at Kyalami are hopeful the sport will return to South Africa the following year.

Mercedes star Hamilton would also like to see more than one date per year in the United States and added: "The US Grand Prix is fantastic. It is such a huge country, having just one race here for sure is not enough to really tap into the sporting culture here.

"Definitely we need to have two, but there are so many great cities to have a grand prix.

"They are going to have one in Miami, it is going to be incredible, as is Austin. I don't know where they'll have the next one.

"I think that is quite cool, having these kind of little mini championships in each continent, it is not a bad thing for the sport."

F1 fans in Africa would rejoice to see just one race brought back to their continent, meanwhile, even if it means organisers must overcome some logistical hurdles in order to make that a reality.


Hamilton currently sits second in the standings and trails Red Bull's Max Verstappen by six points ahead of the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

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