With races in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Oceania, Formula 1 is one of the most global sports in the world. Of the habitable continents, only Africa is still missing from that list, since the last race was held in South Africa in 1993. However, Formula 1 is working hard to return to Africa in the near future. Bernie Ecclestone spent years trying in vain to get the continent back on the calendar, but since taking on the sport, the Grand Prix of Africa has also ranked high on Liberty Media’s wish list. It is an aspiration shared, among others, world champion Lewis Hamilton, who has previously announced that he favors adding the African Grand Prix to the calendar.
Missing Africa ‘just a mistake’
“I totally agree with Lewis,” Chloe Target Adams said in a webinar of Black book. Targett-Adams is responsible within Formula 1 for contacting racing organizers around the world, with Africa being the main absentee. “Africa is a continent we don’t race in and that’s just a mistake. It’s a place we really want to go to, it’s our priority. We’ve been talking with potential candidates for a number of years.”
Upon returning to Africa, one immediately thinks of a race on the recently renovated Kyalami circuit, which held the last Grand Prix race on African soil in 1993 and this year would welcome the WEC among others. Morocco, which was already allowed to stage a Formula 1 race in 1958, was also mentioned, however. A street circuit in Marrakech in particular, which has already received Formula E and WTCR in recent years, appears to be a potential candidate. “We hope we can organize a race in Africa in the short to medium term,” Target Adams still hopes.
Expanding into America and Asia
In addition to racing in Africa, Formula 1 is still serious about the second race in America, while the growing market in Asia remains a focal point for the sport: “Besides Africa, America also remains a strategic priority. We already have a big priority racing in Austin, where we hope to be. We are able to work with the promoters there for a longer time, but we are also looking forward to a second race. In addition, we do not hide that Asia is also our priority. “
As for expansion into America, Formula 1 has been racing in Miami for some time, although a return to Indianapolis also appears to be an increasingly important option. In Asia, Vietnam was supposed to stage the Grand Prix for the first time last year, but the inaugural edition on the street circuit in Hanoi was canceled due to the epidemic. This year, the circuit has again disappeared from the calendar due to political turmoil, making the future of the Grand Prix in Vietnam very uncertain.
“We should have been racing in Vietnam in 2020 on a wonderful track near Hanoi, but it is understood that no one wants to organize a first race in the midst of the pandemic,” says Target Adams. “We are now dealing with some domestic problems after the necessary political changes there, and then we decided with the regulator Vingroup that 2021 was not the right timing. However, we will continue to work with them in the long term. We cherish the opportunity of the Formula 1 race and hope it will eventually happen.” “.