Lewis Hamilton has urged Formula One to reconsider its plans to move the Brazilian Grand Prix from Interlagos in Sao Paulo to a new circuit in Rio de Janeiro.
This came after aA letter from F1 CEO Chase Carey to the acting governor of Rio de Janeiro, Claudio Castro was accidentally leaked last week. The letter said the deal was finalized, and only the necessary licenses from the state’s environmental control commission was pending.
The circuit in Rio de Janeiro has not yet been built and has attracted criticism from environmental groups as it is claimed that its construction will result in the felling of thousands of trees in the Camboata Forest. A petition against the development of the circuit has already garnered more than 20,000 signatures in Brazil.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Eifel Grand Prix in Germany, Hamilton, who has often spoken passionately about the environment, questioned F1’s decision to race at a new facility in Brazil.
“I was hoping I wasn’t going to get this question because ultimately, my personal opinion is that the world doesn’t need a new circuit. I think there’s plenty of circuits in the world that are great. I love Interlagos. I have been to Rio, and it’s a beautiful, beautiful place. But knocking down … I don’t know all the details of it, but I heard that it’s potentially going to be sustainable, but the most sustainable thing you can do is not tear down any trees, particularly in a time where we’re fighting a pandemic, and there continues to be a global crisis around the world. I don’t think with deforestation and everything, I don’t think it’s a smart move. I don’t have the details of why, but it’s not something I personally support”, said Hamilton.