Hamilton against new Brazil GP track in Rio, wants Interlagos stay

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Lewis Hamilton has urged Brazil not to build a new circuit in Rio de Janeiro amid reports Formula 1 has signed to race there in 2021.

Ahead of last weekend's race in Germany, a letter published from F1 CEO Chase Carey appeared to confirm a deal had been agreed to leave the historic Interlagos track in Sao Paulo for a new venue in Deodoro, one of Rio's suburbs.

However, a major battle over the construction of the racing facility is still ongoing amid local opposition on environmental grounds.

And now the six-time world champion, who has been vocal in the fight against climate change, has added his voice to the cause.

"I heard it is potentially going to be a sustainable race, but the most sustainable thing you can do is not tear down any trees," he said via the BBC, with the planned location currently a forest.

"There is a global crisis with deforestation, I don’t think it’s a smart move," he added.

The plan to move the Brazilian Grand Prix to Rio was first revealed by president Jair Bolsonaro last year, though his claim it would do so this year was untrue as Sao Paulo still had a one more year on its contract.

That race, however, was cancelled due to Covid-19, potentially meaning Interlagos' 30-year stay on the calendar is now over.

Bolsonaro has also downplayed the concerns surrounding the Deodoro project as "disproportionate". While Rio Motorsports, the company behind the new track, insisting they have plans to replant trees both around the new circuit and elsewhere in the city to offset those which would be cut down.

That though doesn't appease Hamilton, who of course has good memories of Sao Paulo.

"My personal opinion is the world doesn’t need a new circuit," he said. "There are plenty of circuits that are great and I love Interlagos."