Defending Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton doubts that the Autodromo Nazionale Monza will be cut from the sport due to its historic value.
Monza has hosted the Italian Grand Prix in all but one of the F1 world championship seasons, but is at risk of falling off the calendar due to financial uncertainty and an increasingly global outlook for the sport.
Most within F1 have condemned the possible loss of Monza, and Hamilton became the latest figure to lend his support to the Italian circuit when speaking over the Spanish Grand Prix weekend.
“Well there’s two sides to it,” Hamilton said. “You’ve got the actual circuit, which holds great historic value to the sport. Then you’ve got the fans, who ultimately make the weekend.
“You’ve got those few races through the year – Silverstone, Spanish Grand Prix, Italian Grand Prix, German Grand Prix – which to me are the foundation of the sport, particularly as you’ve got so many fans there.”
The Italian Grand Prix boasts one of the best atmospheres in F1 thanks to the loyal Ferrari fans – the ‘Tifosi’ – that make their way to the track each year.
“When you’re on the podium at the Italian Grand Prix, the whole straight is full of Ferrari fans,” Hamilton said. “You don’t get to see that in other places, so I think it’s important that we keep it.
“You lose the Italian Grand Prix, you lose all those fans. I can’t see it happening. I think ultimately it’s all politics and stuff which I’m sure will get sorted out.”
Monza’s contract expires following the 2016 edition of the race, and is set to retain its September slot for next season as per last month’s leaked calendar.