Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton Critiques FIA’s Venue Decision for End-of-Season Gala in Baku, Emphasizing Sustainability Concerns

Seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has openly criticized the FIA’s decision to hold their end-of-season event in Baku instead of Paris. Highlighting sustainability issues, Hamilton’s stance brings to light the environmental considerations in Formula 1’s decision-making.

Key Takeaways:

  • FIA’s Venue Choice Questioned: Lewis Hamilton, critical of the FIA’s decision to move the annual end-of-season event from Paris to Baku, raised concerns about the sustainability of this move.
  • Annual Celebration of Champions: The event, which celebrates world champions across various categories including F1, mandates attendance from top drivers like Hamilton, Max Verstappen, and Sergio Perez, as well as team principals such as Christian Horner of Red Bull.
  • Recent Tradition of European Venues: Since 2019, the event has been held in European cities like Paris, Geneva, and Bologna. This year marks the first time Baku has been chosen as the host city, sparking Hamilton’s remarks.

Lewis Hamilton, known for his outspoken nature on various issues such as diversity and environmental issues, has this time turned his attention to the FIA’s decision-making regarding the venue for their prestigious end-of-season prize-giving gala. The event, a grand celebration of achievements in world motorsport, traditionally sees the gathering of the year’s most successful drivers and teams.

Hamilton, who finished among the top three in this year’s drivers’ championship alongside Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, is obliged to attend the event. Red Bull, having secured the constructors’ title, was also in attendance with team principal Christian Horner. However, Hamilton’s concerns lie not with the celebration itself, but with the choice of location.

In a statement to the media ahead of the gala, Hamilton said:

“I don’t feel a particular way. Whilst I really like Baku, it’s really a beautiful place, questions in my mind of whether the FIA is really actually thinking about sustainability because so many people flew out here and the FIA is in Paris and it just would have been easier to stay there. But it’s a beautiful arena, it’s a night we all get to come together and celebrate all the achievements of the great people working in the sport, all the amazing drivers that I wouldn’t get to see during the year.”

His comments highlight a broader discussion about the environmental impact of such decisions in the world of motorsport. The next season of F1 will see a much more optimized logistics plan with races clustered together to reduce the environmental impact of travel. But it’s clear there’s still plenty of work to be done.

Sustainable fuels and carbon-neutral race weekends are certainly on the horizon for the sport. But the thinking has to change, too. This incident underscores the need for a more environmentally conscious approach in the glamorous world of Formula 1, a sport that is increasingly under scrutiny for its carbon footprint.

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