F1 will not returning to South Africa in 2024
Formula 1 have cancelled the race
It’s no secret that when Formula 1 announced its plans to host a race in the African continent as part of its efforts to become global, many enthusiasts and fans of the sport were thrilled about the return of the Kyalami circuit in South Africa, which last hosted the race back in 1993. However, it looks like Formula 1’s ambition to revive the South African Grand Prix in 2024 has hit a roadblock due to political reasons.
For long-time fans of the sport, the Kyalami circuit holds a special place in their hearts, having hosted 21 races between 1967 and 1993. Therefore, the prospect of returning to Africa garnered immense support from prominent figures like Lewis Hamilton, who expressed his enthusiasm for the sport’s evolving direction.
“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,” said Hamilton
Although the initial discussions with the original organizers failed due to concerns over the financial resources required to modernize the circuit, the Miami-based sports investment company, called 777, reignited hopes of including the South African Grand Prix in the 2024 calendar.
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South Africa’s Ties with Russia
According to a report by RacingNews365.com, the recent cancellation of the South African GP is the result of accusations made by the United States ambassador to South Africa regarding arms trade between South Africa and Russia. This is because when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, Formula 1 decided to cancel the Russian Grand Prix, and this perceived political association between South Africa and Russia has seemingly influenced the abandonment of the South African race.
As a consequence, the Belgian Grand Prix, initially at risk of being removed from the schedule to accommodate the Kyalami event, is expected to continue for another year. However, in the long run, it’s clear that the South African GP will make a comeback to the race calendar soon.
“There are areas of the world that want to have Formula 1, and I think that one area that we want to develop is the African area,” said Domenicali.