The Return of Kyalami Grand Prix? F1 Confirms Interest in Hosting Race in Africa

Published 02/25/2021, 10:47 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ George Russell leads and Valtteri Bottas is second placed after the start of the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


F1 has been very enthusiastic in trying to bring the series back to Africa. The Global Race Organization Director for F1, Chloe Targett-Adams has said that bringing F1 racing back to Africa is their top-most priority.

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This comes on the back of Lewis Hamilton expressing his desire to race in Africa. Former F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone, was also very vocal in wanting to bring back the South African Grand Prix. New management Liberty Media is also leaving no stone untouched to make this a reality.

An African F1 Grand Prix imminent?

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In an interview, Targett-Adams agreed with Hamilton’s sentiments. She said, “I totally agree with Lewis. Africa is a continent where we do not compete, and this is wrong. It is a place where we want to compete and our priority. We have been discussing potential options for several years.

She wanted to target America as well.

“In the end, we hope to organize a race there in the near or mid future. Besides Africa, America is clearly a strategic priority. We have a great race in Austin right now. We hope to work with our organizer there for many more years.”

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 13: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Williams Racing FW43 Mercedes during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on December 13, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

The Englishwoman also spoke about the difficulties of getting all races onto the sport‘s calendar. She said, “We are a global series and we are fortunate to have a lot of interest. We also have a limited place on the calendar.

“This is where we can see how we can take advantage of opportunities in new places without leaving behind the races that are the cornerstones of the calendar or our long-term partners. we are looking.”

South Africa or Morocco – who is the favorite?

Both these countries have prior experience in organizing a Grand Prix; Morocco hosted its sole Grand Prix in 1958 while South Africa has hosted 23 races, with the last one in 1993.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JULY 31: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Williams Racing FW43 Mercedes on track during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 31, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Morocco has also expressed interest in wanting to host it. However, they are at a disadvantage.

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F1 already has three Arab/Middle Eastern races on its calendar – Bahrain, Jeddah, and Abu Dhabi. So, F1 wouldn’t want to concentrate that region with a fourth race there.

Thus, South Africa is a favorite in this respect. Moreover, they have an F1-ready track at their disposal. This is a massive advantage as a new circuit won’t need to be relaid and could aid in F1 reinstating the South African Grand Prix as soon as 2023.

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Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

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