Lewis Hamilton criticised the decision to schedule the British Grand Prix on the same day as the finals of the Cricket World Cup and men’s singles at Wimbledon.
Sunday’s race will be required to compete with two other major events for public attention; when the lights go out at Silverstone, England or Australia will be taking on New Zealand at Lord’s, while either Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal will be out on Centre Court against Novak Djokovic or Roberto Bautista Agut.
Reigning Formula One champion Hamilton will be aiming to complete a record sixth triumph in his home race, but the timing of it in the 2019 calendar is a source of great frustration for him.
“What I don’t understand is why the organisers put the race on the same day as all these other big events. I really don’t understand it,” Hamilton told a news conference.
“But I hope in future that they put this on – this is such a special weekend that it needs all the focus of the whole country. I think people are going to be switching between channels on Sunday, not sure what to watch.
“Naturally I come here, there’s quite a few of us Brits but we come here to raise the flag and do the country proud, so I’m just going to try to play my part.”
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) July 10, 2019
It was announced on Wednesday that Silverstone, which hosted F1’s first race in 1950, will remain part of the calendar until at least 2024 and Hamilton expressed his delight at the news.
He said: “It was a good surprise to hear they’d re-signed. I mean, it wasn’t necessarily a surprise, I knew it was going to happen.
“It’s clear that Formula One can’t exist without the home of motorsports, which is the British Grand Prix.
“I’m really, really happy. It’s great for the fanbase that we have here and to see that continue to grow over the years to come.”
He's won his home race five times
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 10, 2019