News24.com | F1: Kyalami wants South African GP confirmed by early 2023

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Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit

Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit

Warren Scheckter, CEO of the South African Grand Prix, says Kyalami is “ready” to bring Formula 1 back to the nation in 2023.

Under the ownership of Liberty Media, and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali’s leadership, a clear plan is in place to expand the Formula 1 calendar and make moves into new markets.

Earlier in September, Kyalami owner Toby Venter told Wheels24’s Janine Van der Post that he’s ready and awaiting a visit from the FIA. The track is already Grade 2 status and needs a few safety upgrades to get to Grade 1. 

Venter says he is constantly chatting to the powers that be at Formula 1.

He told Wheels24: “We want to have a race in Africa, and we want someone to pay for it. If the money is there, the race will happen. And, if F1 is desperate to race in Africa, even without the money, we have the track.”

But what does Kyalami need for it to be F1 race-ready?

Venter says the racetrack is already a world-class venue, and getting it Grade 1 ready would only need a minor revision. “The most important thing is that it’s safer than a street circuit, too. The FIA would need to come over for inspection, and they’ll ask for some upgrades like installing the sport’s hi-tech barriers. We’ll also need to work on some more run-off areas and make it safer here and there.”

Kyalami owner Toby Venter

Kyalami is not the only venue in contention to secure Formula 1’s return to South Africa, with city circuits in Cape Town, Durban, and Elgin also mentioned.

But Scheckter, son of 1979 World Champion Jody Scheckter, believes Kyalami is the best choice and confirmed that talks with Formula 1 are set to return to make secure an official announcement by “the beginning of 2023”.

“Compared to the city circuits identified, the most sensible choice remains Kyalami, for its history and for its immediate availability to host this event,” he is quoted by Formulapassion.it.

“In recent years, starting with Chase Carey, we have welcomed the top management of F1 with visits to the racetrack, encouraging the meeting of the latter with the members of our Government to start negotiations.

“We have already shown that we can host major events of international importance such as the World Cup in 2010, and a GP is what is needed to relaunch the image of South Africa not only from a sporting point of view but also from a tourist and cultural point of view.

“We are ready: next year, we will discuss again the opportunity to bring F1 back to South Africa, to make the return official at the beginning of 2023.”

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