Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton speaks out against the plans to build a new F1 racetrack in Rio. The track would decimate most of the city’s flatland area and more than 180’000 trees.
The 200-hectare forest Camboatá Forest is home to a myriad of wildlife, including snakes, capybaras and caimans, as well as 21 endangered species. Most of this sub-tropical forest would be leveled to make way for the new Formula 1 track, prompting Hamilton to speak out: “There is a global crisis with deforestation,” he said. “The world doesn’t need a new circuit.”
The plan has been enthusiastically backed by Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro but has come under fire from environmentalists.
Bolsonaro also has political motivation for the move – the current F1 track in Brazil is in São Paulo and a move to Rio would be a huge coup for him against political rivals.
A leaked letter from F 1 CEO Chase Carey to a Rio governor earlier this month said that while it had been agreed for the racetrack to go ahead, certain ‘environmental licences’ were still outstanding.
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