Multiple African countries still vying for Formula 1 GP
Thursday 23rd September, 2021 - 2:57pm
Momentum is gathering behind Formula 1 making a long-awaited return to Africa, Stefano Domenicali has confirmed.
F1 has not raced in Africa for almost three decades, with only three circuits on the continent having ever hosted a world championship grand prix: Kyalami and Prince George Circuit in South Africa, and Casablanca in Morocco for a one-off event way back in 1958.
South Africa is one of 14 countries to have produced an F1 world champion, being Jody Scheckter in 1979.
There’s been a growing push to see the African event drought ended to align with F1’s global status, and it seems Kyalami is among options on the table.
“We received interest from Kyalami to be back in the calendar,” F1 CEO Domenicali told CNN.
“Of course, we have discussed with them in order to see if they are ready from the technical perspective, the financial perspective, to be inserted in the calendar, so discussions are there.
“We have received other requests from other countries in Africa. In this moment, I need to keep it confidential.”
It’s not entirely clear what other African venues Domenicali could be referring to; among those to have featured prominently in international motorsport in recent history is Morocco’s Marrakech layout that has hosted four Formula E events.
Kyalami, which underwent major upgrades in the mid-2010s, returned to the Intercontinental GT Challenge schedule in 2019.
A 23-round F1 calendar is planned for 2022, which is due to be unveiled at the FIA World Motor Sport Council on October 15 (local time).
A new United States event on the streets of Miami will join the calendar next year, in the first half of May, while it was announced today the Monaco Grand Prix will no longer run Thursday practice as per long-standing tradition.