Bernie Ecclestone is gone, Liberty Media is in, and they’re looking to make Formula 1 a more globally appealing and entertaining sport once more as it was once before. That means they may be looking at expanding the race calendar to elsewhere in the world, and once again South Africa has cropped up as a potential host for a new Formula 1 Grand Prix!
It was only just recently that Sky Sports posed a poll to ask where fans would like to see a new F1 Grand Prix, with South Africa – particularly Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit – finishing third in the poll behind Max Verstappen’s home country of the Netherlands and London.
But now, a voice of some influence has added vocal support for a Grand Prix to be hosted in sunny South Africa. David Coulthard, former Formula 1 driver, has called for South Africa to host F1 once more, for the 1st time since 1993.
Ahead of the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco, Coulthard spoke to EWN, insisting that SA should host the F1 Grand Prix once more. This after Coulthard spent some time here last year where he piloted the Mercedes-AMG GT3 around the revamped Kyalami circuit at the SA Festival of Motoring.
Coulthard said, “That track is ready to go. The investment that has been made has made it a turnkey solution. The driver’s would love the challenge because it has retained a lot of the character of the race track, I think it has got what the FIA agreed to and I think it’s just a formality to being capable of hosting Formula One.”
At this stage, it’s important to remember that the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit is graded FIA Grade 2, meaning it can host any international motor racing event, except Formula 1.
But, Coulthard insists it’s a mere formality and that Kyalami is definitely able to host Formula 1.
Speaking to EWN, Coulthard said, “To have a true World Championship, you’ve got to be in the continent and if you look at the popularity and success that South Africa has had in Formula One in the past – a world champion and many great Grand Prix here.”
Bernie Ecclestone had previously voiced his support for a street track in Cape Town, however the cost of hosting such a race would have been astronomical. With the recent upgrades made to Kyalami by Porsche South Africa, the Midrand-based track would be the more affordable option.
So then, Formula 1 back to South Africa? The support for it is growing – maybe Liberty Media will listen…