Hamilton against tearing down trees for new Rio Formula 1 circuit

Lewis Hamilton says the deforestation of an area of Rio de Janeiro to build a new Formula 1 track is not something he supports despite plans to re-plant trees

Hamilton against tearing down trees for new Rio Formula 1 circuit

F1 is planning to add a race at a new circuit in Rio to the calendar in the near future, with a deal in place with the race promoter to stage the event.

The existing contract for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos expires this year.

But the planned construction of the new track at Deodoro, a disused military base, would involve the felling of 70,000 trees, resulting in mounting public opposition to the proposal.

Six-time F1 world champion Hamilton has been vocal about the importance of environmentalism in recent years, regularly sharing messages on social media to encourage his followers to do more for the planet.

Asked about the possibility of a race in Rio, Hamilton conceded that he had hoped not to receive the question before outlining his opposition to the plans.

"My personal opinion is that the world doesn't need a new circuit," Hamilton said.

"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.

"I don't know all the details of it. 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."

The construction of the planned circuit will require a number of trees to be uprooted, but plans are in place to replant them and create a larger greenfield site.

According to the race promoter, Rio Motorsports, the total area of land at Deodoro that will be used to build the track is 55 hectares and contains 70,000 trees.

"The suppression of these 70 thousand trees will be compensated by planting another 700,000 trees, part of them within the land itself, which will make the area with vegetation larger than it is today," said Rio Motorsports in a statement.

"In addition, about 810,000m² of land - the equivalent of 75 football fields - will be used entirely with adopting conservationist and preservationist practices in support of the natural heritage."

The deal for Rio Motorsports to run the race has been agreed on the condition it is granted permission to build the track from the local authorities.

shares
comments
The 'what if?' career of the Nurburgring's last F1 podium finisher
Previous article

The 'what if?' career of the Nurburgring's last F1 podium finisher

Next article

Schumacher has nothing to prove in F1 Eifel GP FP1 debut - Leclerc

Schumacher has nothing to prove in F1 Eifel GP FP1 debut - Leclerc
How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Plus

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Plus

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Plus

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022