Domenicali: African GP discussions ‘under way’

Finley Crebolder


F1 boss Stefano Domenicali says discussions are under way regarding a Formula 1 race being held in Africa in the future.

The sport has not raced in Africa since 1993 when the South African Grand Prix was held at Kyalami.

In his first press conference after becoming the President and CEO of F1, Domenicali stated adding a race in the continent back to the calendar was a priority of his.

“This is something that’s very important, I think, in terms of having a new place or an old place with a great heritage back in Formula 1,” he said at the time.

Since then, calls for F1 to return there have grown, with Lewis Hamilton saying it is the place he wants to race in most.

“Easy – Africa. It’s such an important place to go back,” he said.

“At the moment, Formula 1 goes to countries and doesn’t really leave much behind if anything.

“Formula 1 has to shift into being a sport that does go to places and leaves behind something that can really help the communities and I think firstly bringing the attention back to Africa and highlighting the beautiful place it is, I think that’s the most important place we have to go to.”

Domenicali has now confirmed discussions are indeed taking place with Kyalami the most likely option, but does not expect anything to be confirmed any time soon.

“I would say it is very important that a championship be run throughout the world,” he told FIA Auto magazine.

“The possibility of a GP in Africa? The discussions are under way, but we are still in the initial stages ”

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The Italian has been clear since taking over that he wants F1 to be a truly global sport and not take place predominantly in Europe as it did in 2020.

Given that, he is aiming to add more American races to the calendar and is still hoping the Chinese Grand Prix will be able to take place this season after being cancelled last year and postponed this year due to the pandemic.

“China and the United States remain very important markets for us,” he added.

“In China, we are only in Shanghai and we must continue with our strategy because it is a big market with just as much potential.

“It’s a shame that in 2020 as well as up to now we couldn’t go there because of Covid. But who knows, if we could find a slot [for it this year], we could do it. We have to be flexible.”

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