Lewis Hamilton wants F1 to return to SA

Hamilton says he would like to come to South Africa because of its huge F1 following.

Lewis Hamilton at the Formula One Grand Prix in Sochi. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has called for Formula 1 to return to South Africa, according to the BBC.

Hamilton won his third world title after a 10th victory of the season at the US Grand Prix on Sunday.

The first British driver to win back-to-back titles, Hamilton realised a lifelong ambition to equal the tally of his boyhood idol Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian triple champion who died in 1994.

"I would love for it to be in South Africa. They are great sporting fans and are just petrol heads who love cars," Hamilton told the BBC.

LISTEN: Lewis Hamilton hails SA as important GP venue (Courtesy of BBC World Service Sport)

The South African GP featured 23 times on the F1 calendar following its debut in 1962 but was last staged in 1993.

"I would love to go there, it would be absolutely insane," the Mercedes driver added.

"There is a huge following there and it is one of the most important Grand Prix we need to get on the calendar."

He made history by becoming the first black F1 driver when he made his debut for McLaren in 2007.

He has since gone on to win 43 races en route to claiming his three world titles.

"This is the first time that black South Africans have had someone to relate to in this sport," Hamilton said.

In August, the head of Formula One Bernie Ecclestone, told EWN Sport that South Africa's hopes of hosting a race in the near future are non-existent unless somebody 'who's in a position to make a commitment' presents the sport's bosses with a concrete plan to bring it to the country.

In an exclusive interview from London, the 84-year-old though once again reiterated his desire for a race to return to South Africa, which last featured on the calendar in 1993.