A GP to be held in Africa after such a long time is a realistic proposition
The last time Africa hosted a race in a Formula 1 racing series was the opening race in the 1993 championship. That's five years before Google became a company!
From that time until now, South Africa has kept their Kyalami circuit in peak condition, waiting to hear those magnificent engines scream again.
There's hope for African and global fans to see the African Grand Prix return again, with South Africa likely returning to the hosting schedule in 2023. Keep reading to learn how 30 years of racing innovation will make this race the most exciting one South Africa has ever seen.
A New Focus on an African Grand Prix
South Africa has a rich Formula 1 history, having hosted the race for several decades. The first circuit was in the coastal city of East London, after which the race was held at the Kyalami centre from 1966 to 1985, as well as in 1992 and 1993. There was even a South African champion Jody Scheckter in 1979 and he remains the only African driver to win the Formula One World Championship to this day.
Executives at Formula 1 and the South African Grand Prix are all highly positive about the prospect of re-introducing a South African racetrack to the schedule. The idea is also supported by seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton's sentiment is that the Grand Prix returning to Africa should be a priority. For this reason, there are also talks about adding a North African country to the list at some point as well. Historically, the only other African country to have hosted an event was Morocco in the late '50s.
Commercial Opportunities of an African Grand Prix
With a popular champion supporting Africa's re-entry to the sport, fans are likely to flock to the idea as well. The southern African population boasts a huge number of Grand Prix fans.
Hosting the event in a country with a generation of young people who haven't had a race on their soil also promises to expand the appeal of F1 to a brand-new audience.
South Africa is a well-known tourism destination, and international fans are guaranteed to enjoy the race as well as experience the host country's hospitality.
How South Africa Can Host in 2023
The heads of Formula 1 have several options to consider if they want a race in South Africa. Cape Town and Elgin (in the Western Cape province), as well as Durban (in KwaZulu-Natal), can produce city circuits like the Monaco circuit. However, the decision-makers agree that a Grand Prix at Kyalami is the most likely place to hold the event.
Modern F1 standards of safety requirements are that a circuit receives a 'Grade One' safety certification. The Kyalami circuit is currently rated as a 'Grade Two' track, needing only to upgrade and increase run-off areas and install new high-tech barriers.
Toby Venter, the owner of Kyalami, is confident that this can be accomplished in 2022, so that South Africa can be ready for the 2023 F1 season. At the end of the day, however, it all depends on how lucrative the event will be for investors.
Book Your Tour Today
The future of the African Grand Prix relies on the support of fans now. If you're fired up for the 2022 season or want to see Africa featured in the 2023 season, book your Formula 1 tour today.