F1 News: Lewis Hamilton Requests “We Hold On To Pillars” As Barcelona GP Under Threat

In discussions about street circuits last year, Lewis Hamilton, the Mercedes driver, emphasized the significance of “classic circuits” such as the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The seven-time world champion stressed the importance of maintaining traditional racetracks on the calendar rather than replacing them with street circuits.

In contrast to the recently confirmed street/hybrid circuit in Madrid selected for the Spanish Grand Prix on Tuesday, Barcelona-Catalunya is exclusively dedicated to high-speed circuit racing like Formula 1. Nevertheless, with the street circuit scheduled to be added to the F1 calendar from 2026, the fate of the classic circuit remains uncertain.

The Madrid street race will incorporate both, street and non-street segments on the track, covering a total length of 5.474 kilometers. This format is reminiscent of the Albert Park Street Circuit in Melbourne.

In June 2023, Hamilton emphasized the need to preserve classic circuits on the F1 calendar, thus also suggesting that he prefers the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over the street circuit in Madrid, which wasn’t approved back then. Speaking to the media, he said:

“As long as it’s not like Valencia was, which wasn’t the most enjoyable track to drive.

“I don’t think I would want to lose Barcelona. One, I love the city. I do think it’s really important we keep some of the classic circuits, at least the ones that provide great racing.

“Budapest is spectacular. Silverstone is spectacular. This [Barcelona] track as well. There are a lot of really great original circuits that we should keep. Maybe some that don’t provide the greatest racing, we should maybe switch those out.

“I just think about the heritage of the sport and we’ve got to make sure we hold onto those which I think are the pillars of what this sport is in my opinion.”

Though the announcement of Madrid is official, it will undergo FIA homologation and safety assessments before requiring approval from the World Motor Sport Council for inclusion in the calendar.

Gideon Canice

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