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Could we see a South African Grand Prix in 2023?

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Potential race organisers have highlighted the chances of having a South Africa Grand Prix in 2023 is getting “more likely” as time goes on. The original target was to return to South Africa in 2022 but the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic put plans on hold. South Africa last staged a Grand Prix in 1993, with the race being won by Alain Prost in a Williams. 

The race then folded due to financial reasons but a company called SAGP, who’s CEO is Warren Scheckter is hoping to bring it back. Warren is the son of Jody Scheckter, who won the world championship for Ferrari in 1979 and now runs Laverstoke Park Farm.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali recently hinted Africa could be on the agenda again as an F1 venue when he said: “Something very important, I think, is having a new place or an old place with a great heritage back in Formula 1.”

Scheckter jnr has said “the most logical place” for a South African Grand Prix would be Kyalami, which staged races between 1967 and 1985 and then twice more in 1992-93. Sir Lewis Hamilton also said that South Africa is “such an important place to go back to, bringing the attention back to Africa and highlighting the beautiful place it is, I think It’s the most important place we have to go”

Scheckter added: “It’s great that Lewis, a person as high-profile and influential as himself, has indicated his support for an African Grand Prix. Obviously South Africa is the most likely place for that to happen, being a country that has a huge history in Formula 1. It had its own Formula 1 racing series back in the seventies, had a Formula 1 World Champion itself and as a country has quite a big following.

“Most importantly it has a race track that’s really ready to go, that’s very close to being F1 standard. If there was to be an African Grand Prix, South Africa and Kyalami is the most logical place it would happen. It’s great that Lewis is showing his support for an African Grand Prix. An African Grand Prix would be a huge boost for bringing diversity to the sport at all levels.”

Holding a race in South Africa means F1 will have a race in every continent (except Antarctica) which is something the sport have said in the past that they hope to achieve in the not too distant future.

Formulanerds spoke to Lawrence Barretto, senior writer for F1.com on 20th February, and he gave his thoughts on the return of a South African Grand Prix, saying “As a sport not only should we be in Africa but I feel that circuit is awesome, I think it could be great.” 

Would you like to see F1 return to South Africa? Let us know on Formulanerds social media!

image:kyalamigrandprixcircuit.com

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