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Circuit Kyalami confirms: 'Hopefully terms GP in '24 ensured soon'

Circuit Kyalami confirms: 'Hopefully terms GP in '24 ensured soon'

12-04-2023 15:30 Last update: 15:37
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GPblog.com

Africa is the only continent not currently hosting a Grand Prix. The management of South Africa's Kyalami circuit is eager to host Formula 1 as early as next year, and the chances grow that there will be positive news soon.

It is a long-held desire of the FIA and Formula One Management (FOM) to race in Africa. Originally, the plan was to have a South African Grand Prix back on the F1 calendar in 2023 after a 30-year absence. The event management did not get the plans (organisationally and financially) right. Delay should not become a cancellation in this case, so they set to work to still make the event possible next year.

Owned by Porsche

Recently, media reports appeared that Kyalami was once again going to miss out on Formula 1, again because of finances. In the meantime, word has spread that the South African government would step in. A spokesperson for the Kyalami circuit, which incidentally is owned by Porsche South Africa, confirms that talks are being held with the government. If they (probably) come up with money, the chances are increasingly plausible

"Kyalami is not an event promoter," Christo Kruger, PR Manager of Porsche South Africa told GPblog. "Kyalami would enter into a venue lease agreement with a prospective promoter to potentially host a Formula 1 event. The promoter will negotiate with various role players, including government, to ensure an adequate funding model."

'Negotiations continue'

Earlier, Belgian media reported that Kyalami should have given final clarity to the FIA and FOM by 31 March on whether the South African Grand Prix could go ahead. That date has now passed. "Negotiations with the promoter continue and we remain hopeful that agreeable terms can be met soonest to ensure a Formula 1 event at Kyalami for 2024", the spokesperson said.

Should Kyalami make its return, it will normally be at the expense of one of the current Grands Prix (and not a 25th race being added). All circuits on the 2023 calendar have an ongoing commitment for '24, with the exceptions of Baku and Spa-Francorchamps. A spokesperson for the Baku organisation revealed this week that it is in negotiations with FOM to extend the contract. Partly because of this, the Belgian Grand Prix is the main candidate to disappear after this season.

Last one at Spa for now?

The race in the Belgian Ardennes, although popular with drivers and fans, was only established after it became clear that Kyalami was not going to save a Grand Prix in '24. On the weekend that Spa-Francorchamps hosted F1 last year, a one-year commitment was still made. In Belgium, it has been reckoned for some time that this year's passage will be the last for now.