South African bid hits a snag

Hopes that the South African Grand Prix could return to the Formula 1 calendar in the next few years have hit a snag, with the country's government believed to be baulking at making the necessary commitment to back the event

South African bid hits a snag

Although F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is keen for the event in Cape Town to make it onto the schedule by 2007, the latest round of talks between the company hoping to stage the event and the country's government have not progressed as well as had been hoped.

David Gant, spokesman for the Omega Consortium that is behind the bid for the race, claims that raising part of the finance from the private sector had not been a problem - but getting extra backing from the government was.

"Our first round of talks with all three levels of government indicated political will and the potential of real financial commitment," said Gant. "However, our attempts at engaging in a second round of talks [with government] have not been very successful."

Apart from the financial issues, which Gant is hoping can be resolved by informing the government about the amount of income an F1 will bring to the country, he also faces the hurdle of overcoming the country's ban on tobacco advertising.

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