Brazil's F1 future remains cloudy after wet thriller

Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:05am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton emphasized how much the Brazilian Grand Prix meant to him after winning in the wet on Sunday, but the race's future on the Formula One calendar remains clouded by uncertainty.

"I just assume this is going to be on the grand prix calendar because it is one of the best races," said the triple champion after succeeding at Interlagos, his boyhood idol Ayrton Senna's home track, for the first time.

"It is part of the heritage of Formula One. We cannot lose this grand prix."

Despite the Mercedes driver's words, the chances of Brazil remaining on the calendar remain very much a 'maybe' due to the country's ongoing economic crisis.

Brazil will also have only one driver next year, in an uncompetitive car, and even that is not certain with Felipe Nasr yet to be confirmed by struggling Sauber.

The atmospheric amphitheatre has an asterisk against it, along with Canada and Germany, on the 2017 draft calendar and commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone is not sounding positive.

"I think we may well be able to sort Canada out, possibly, but the other two...," the Briton told Reuters with a shrug.

The final calendar, currently 21 races, will be published in December.   Continued...

Formula One - F1 - Brazilian Grand Prix - Circuit of Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil - 13/11/2016 - Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton of Britain sprays champagne during the victory ceremony after winning the race. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker