African races on F1’s radar

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African races on F1’s radar

Formula 1

African races on F1’s radar

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Formula 1 has interest from potential races in both the north and south of Africa as well as classic European venues as it considers its future calendar.

There are currently races in every habitable continent except Africa, with the last race at Kyalami in South Africa having  taken place in 1993. A return to South Africa has been rumored on a number of occasions since, but now F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says countries in the north of the continent are also showing an interest. Formula 1 visited Morocco twice in the 1950s, although only the 1958 race counted towards the world championship.

“For sure Vietnam is not on the calendar anymore, but it’s still an open option,” Domenicali said. “It has been an incredible investment, therefore it’s still on the table of discussion for a future event, for sure. There are other areas that I can tell you have shown interest; basically in north Africa and South Africa.

“This is something that’s very important I think in terms of having new places or old places with heritage back in Formula 1. We don’t have to forget that we have lost some European races that now are showing interest in being considered again.”

With so many potential new venues and an already record 23-race calendar in place for 2021, Domenicali said the sport needs to work on ensuring the product is so strong for all stakeholders that it can make more money without simply adding more events.

“What is going to happen in the future is (that) we need to decide, what is the right balance in terms of the number of races? What are the areas that we need to strategically invest – for teams, for the interests of broadcasters, for the interests of media, for sponsors’ interests – and decide what will be the right way to go, knowing that 23 races is at the top end of the scale of what we are doing today.

“For sure if we are doing a good product you may say that if the value is high you may reach the same kind of business without being too numerous in terms of races, and that could be the approach. If you are able to do the right choices, I think that will be the way to go. It may not be in the shortest time but that is the target, I would say.”

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