Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

F1 pauses South African GP plans for 2024

Formula 1 has shelved plans to restore the South African Grand Prix to the calendar for 2024, but a Kyalami race for the following season has not been ruled out.

Damon Hill, Williams FW15C, leads Alessandro Zanardi, Lotus 107B, Rubens Barrichello, Jordan 193, and Ivan Capelli, Jordan 193

To underline its status as a world championship, F1 has coveted a race in Africa. A return to the famed Kyalami circuit, which last hosted a GP in 1993, has long been the frontrunner.

F1 CEO and president Stefano Domenicali has held meetings with circuit officials and other South African GP stakeholders over the past year to revive the event.

A 2024 slot was originally in mind although there was a bid to add the event to the 2023 schedule - which has since lost the Chinese (COVID-19) and Emilia Romagna (flooding) GPs.

The collapse of those talks paved the way for Belgian GP host circuit Spa to agree a one-year extension - its second short-term deal in a row - and it will remain on the calendar for 2024.

A South African GP will now not go ahead until 2025 at the very earliest. Autosport understands that F1 is reluctant to push ahead with potentially unsustainable plans for a 2024 race that might lead to the event collapsing before its contracted term has fully elapsed.

The delay to plans for a Kyalami race follows accusations from the United States ambassador to South Africa that the country has supplied arms to Russia, with which it maintains a ‘warm’ political relationship. F1 did terminate the Russian GP contract last year following the invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking in 2022 of a desire to add Africa to the calendar, Domenicali explained: “There are areas of the world that wants to have Formula 1, and I think that one area that we want to develop is the African area.

“We are a world championship, and that's an area where we are not there.”

Ayrton Senna, McLaren MP4-8, leads Alain Prost, Williams FW15C, and Michael Schumacher, Benetton B193A

Ayrton Senna, McLaren MP4-8, leads Alain Prost, Williams FW15C, and Michael Schumacher, Benetton B193A

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Out of the drivers, seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is the most public advocate of a return to Kyalami. At the Miami GP last month, he said: “I like the direction personally that [F1] is going in.

Read Also:

“I've been here, like many people, here a long time. I like the change that we are seeing and it's exciting coming to different parts of the world and different circuits.

“We’re on all the other continents, so I'm hoping we get to go to Africa soon and that will be an amazing experience for the whole circus to experience the culture there.”

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article How Red Bull has taken inspiration from slower F1 rivals to go even faster
Next article Russell: Mercedes' "magic" in Spain not owed to new sidepods

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe