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F1 drivers welcome Las Vegas, want Europe races retained

Formula one drivers have welcomed the prospect of racing in the bright lights of Las Vegas next season, but hope to keep traditional races in Europe.


Formula One F1 - Australian Grand Prix - Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia - April 7, 2022, Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel during a press conference REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Las Vegas will be joining Austin and Miami as the third race in the United States in the 2023 calendar.


With the championship expanding into new territory, some older European races have come under scrutiny, with F1 boss Stefano Domenicali warning that some might need to make way for new ones elsewhere.


F1 drivers think the championship should try to respect history and keep its traditional races in Europe.


Four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel said while it was exciting to have new destinations on the calendar, it would be a shame to drop older European races like Monaco or Monza in Italy.


"Obviously there is financial interest in new places that we are going to and F1 is a business. But I think for us it's a sport; it's a passion," the Aston Martin driver said.


"Places mean something because of the history they have or the tradition they have.

"I think it needs a sort of mixture between exploring but also holding onto places that have history."


Red bull’s Sergio Perez expressed similar sentiments.


“And we have to make sure that when we go to new venues, to really have some character on the tracks, you know," said the Mexican.


"I felt like some of the new tracks kind of lack a bit of character. So that will be very important."


Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, said he wanted South Africa returned to the F1 calendar.


Nearly 30 years have passed since the country hosted an F1 race in 1993, and Africa is the only inhabited continent that does not feature on the current calendar.


"We're pretty much on every other continent, so why not?" said Mercedes driver Hamilton.

"And ultimately, my ancestors are from there so that's why it is important for me." (BBC Sport)


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