F1 News: South African GP Rumoured To Return To Kyalami Track
It has been revealed that the F1 is likely to bring back the South African Grand Prix in Kyalami where there hasn’t been an F1 race since 1993.
We have seen changes to the race schedule since Liberty Media took over the championship in 2017, including the return of the GP’s at Zandvoort and Imola. We have also seen the new additions of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Miami and Las Vegas.
It is reported that now that these tracks have been secured, the next project is obtaining the Kyalami race. This won’t be until at least 2024 as the track needs to be upgraded to the current FIA standards.
Kyalami had many other international motorsport events throughout the 1990s and 2000s but has since deteriorated. Porsche South Africa CEO, Toby Venter, bought the track back in 2014 and has redesigned it to have a longer start-finish straight but has kept many of the previous fan favourites.
When redeveloping the track, Venter, did it up to FIA Grade 2 standards but to host the F1 it needs to be at Grade 1. In order to get to this higher standard, they will need to invest in extra run-off and TecPro barriers.
We have heard F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali, mentioning in recent months his want to bring back the South African Grand Prix. He told Sky Sports F1 in March:
“On top of America, on top of China, I think there is a potential also to be in Africa soon,
“There is a lot of interest there. For sure that’s another area that so far is missing in the geography of our calendar.”
Mercedes driver and seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, has been very public about his desire for a race in Africa. When asked about the announcement of the new Las Vegas race he said:
“The one I really want to see is South Africa. That’s the one I want to hear announced next.”
“We’re pretty much on every other continent, so why not?
“Ultimately, my ancestors are from there so that’s why it is important for me personally.
“I think it’s important for the sport to go there. If they’re in every other continent, why not?”