Home Sport Kyalami F1 GP rumours rife but ‘no official contract in place’ …...

Kyalami F1 GP rumours rife but ‘no official contract in place’ … yet

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It is no secret that Formula 1 wants to race on all continents and Africa is the final piece in that particular puzzle. F1 boss Stefano Domenicali has visited Kyalami to get the ball rolling.

epa10063828 Monaco’s Formula One driver Charles Leclerc of Scuderia Ferrari at a pit stop during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, 10 July 2022. EPA/RONALD WITTEK / POOL

Johannesburg – If you woke up to F1 Twitter this morning, then those streets will be awash with speculation that the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami is on, it’s on like a DRS enabled overtake at Turn 2 at Crowthorne.

Nevertheless, South Africans should temper their elation for the moment as there is still a kink in the supposed development, as no official word has yet been forthcoming regarding hosting the event.

It is no secret, however, that F1 wants to race on all continents and Africa is the final piece in that particular puzzle. As reported earlier this year, F1 boss Stefano Domenicali visited Kyalami to meet and greet the consortium that owns the track north of Johannesburg.

As posted by multiple accounts on Tuesday morning, the SA GP is set to return in the 2023 race calendar, possibly in August and on a multi-year contract.

“BREAKING,” the post from Sage Hou exclaimed, “The South African GP at Kyalami will happen in 2023. Formula 1 and DHL have signed a large 5-year contract to ship all goods and cargo to SA (via insider sources). #f1 #southafricangp.”

The tweet created much excitement on the social media site, with South Africans positively enthused about the possibility of F1 returning to the country for the first-time in 30 years.

There is certainly reason to believe such conjecture as there were constructive talks regarding adding Kyalami to the F1 calendar as recently as June.

At that point, it was revealed that the FIA had already done its telemetry of the track and that all that was required was for the various parties to sign contracts for financial and commercial purposes.

Currently, Kyalami is classified by the FIA as a Grade 2 track, and must therefore undergo upgrades to become eligible to host a F1 GP. As revealed in June by Porsche SA, who manage the track through Toby Venter’s consortium, these upgrades are minor and amount to improving run-off areas and the safety of the circuit. There is no need to alter the layout of the track.

Moreover, the introduction of an SA GP will necessitate that a European event be dropped from the calendar, with the Belgium GP at Spa-Francorchamps the unfortunate front-runner in losing its contract. France and Monaco are also in the firing line.

IOL reached out to Porsche SA for comment on Tuesday morning regarding the speculation, and received a prompt reply from the group public relations manager Christo Kruger, stating via email that: “Currently, there is no contract in place with Kyalami.”

Kruger did, however, promise to update South Africans immediately should there be any favourable news.

@FreemanZAR

IOL Sport

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