After 30 years without an F1 race on South African soil, 2023 might see a South African Grand Prix held at Kyalami Raceway.
F1 CEO Stefani Domenicali has flown to South Africa to further talks between series directors and Kyalami event organisers in hopes of reintroducing SA into the F1 race calendar.
Shortly after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, whispers suggested that the F1 boss had arrived in SA to discuss the potential of the Kyalami becoming the staging ground for a potential South African Grand Prix, which insiders suggest might happen as early as 2023.
There have been attempts to usher the world of formula racing back into the South African landscape, with Formula E being heavily relied on as the de facto way forward. However, the prospect of an F1 Grand Prix being introduced as early as next year could bolster the South African motoring community and reinvigorate a sheltered competitive racing industry. The last F1 race held at Kyalami happened in 1993, and just before that another in 1992, shortly after Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.
The push to Africa has allegedly been in the works for years now and the importance of expanding across the globe was highlighted by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic according to F1 global race promotion director Chloe Targett-Adams stated at the Business of F1 Forum. F1 racing giant, Lewis Hamilton has also made it clear that he fully supports the expansion to South Africa and mentioned that the situation is close to his heart.
The entire situation has been kept under wraps as Demonicali’s trip to SA wasn’t publicly announced and a final agreement has yet to be reached. Aside from the addition of Africa to the F1 race calendar is a push to Asia which, much-like Africa, presents itself as a location with a lot of potential and benefits for the introduction of F1 races.