SAOPAULO (Reuters) – Five times world champion Lewis Hamilton feels Formula One risks having too many races and should go back to a shorter season.
Speaking on Thursday ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix, and a day after the sport announced Vietnam will join the calendar in April 2020, the Mercedes driver told reporters he would prefer fewer rounds.
This season has 21 races, as does 2019, but Formula One has also been talking to Miami for a U.S. street race and Zandvoort in the Netherlands about a return to the coastal circuit last visited in 1985.
“It already feels like we are on race 25 this year, so I don’t think that’s a good thing personally,” said Hamilton.
“I think 18 was probably the best back in the day,” added the 33-year-old.
“I’m someone who really loves racing but the season is long. It’s a lot of commitment for all of us and a lot of time away from families and the seasons are getting longer and the off time is getting shorter.”
Next season will end in December, the latest finish since 1963, but Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain do not as yet have contracts beyond then.
Hamilton leads a busy lifestyle but prides himself in having the right balance between his racing and other interests, particularly in fashion and music.
He said, however, that it was still tough to find time to switch off and recover.
“The turnaround is so short, you start preparing for your next season often as soon as the season is done,” said the champion.
“It’s most likely I’m not going to be here when it gets to 25 that’s for sure.”
(Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira, writing by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)