Kyalami, 2018

F1 considering races in Africa and hasn’t ruled out Miami or Hanoi

2021 F1 calendar

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Future Formula 1 calendars could include a return to Africa for the first time since 1993 following approaches from local promoters, says the sport’s new CEO Stefano Domenicali.

The championship has also not given up hope of racing in Miami, USA and Hanoi, Vietnam, despite the setbacks it has encountered with plans for races in the two cities.

Miami’s race was first mooted in 2018 but the proposal has been dogged by problems including significant local opposition. However Domenicali is keen to add the venue as a second US event alongside the current race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

“Our strategy in the future will be to be more present in the US with more than one grand prix,” he said. “Austin has been very important in the last years of our calendar. It will be also in the future and we are discussing with them the renewal of the agreement.

“And of course Miami is a place where we are looking. I cannot say more than that. But for sure, there is a big interest from from both parties to be there.”

Planned Hard Rock Stadium F1 circuit for 2021 Miami Grand Prix
F1 had an agreement for a Miami race in 2021
Vietnam’s project progressed further. A street track was built in Hanoi to hold a race in April last year. That was cancelled due to the pandemic, and the round was left off the 2021 F1 calendar.

“Vietnam is not any more in the calendar but it’s still an open option,” said Domenicali. “It has been an incredible investment and therefore it’s still on the table of discussion for a future event.”

Other potential race promoters have expressed interest in F1, he said. “That is basically in north Africa [and] South Africa, that I can tell.

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“This is something that’s very important, I think, in terms of having in new place or old place with a great heritage back in Formula 1.” The latter likely refers to the Kyalami circuit in South Africa which has held 20 rounds of the world championship, most recently in 1993.

Start, Albert Park, 2019
2021 F1 calendar
Last year Formula 1 returned to some European venues which had not held races for several years, including Imola and the Nurburgring. Domenicali indicated some heritage European races may return in future schedules.

However with a record 23 races already scheduled to take place this year, incorporating further events will pose a challenge, he admitted.

“We have lost some European races that now are showing their interest to be considered again. So what is going to happen in the future is that we need to decide what is the right balance in terms of number of races, what are the areas that we need to strategically invest for teams – interest for broadcasters, interest for media and for sponsor interest – and decide what would be the right way to go, knowing that the 23 races is in 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’re able to do the right choices, I think that would be the way to go. It will not be maybe the shortest time, but that’s the target I would say.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 17 comments on “F1 considering races in Africa and hasn’t ruled out Miami or Hanoi”

    1. I know this won’t happen but if they moved away from street circuits on to permanent tracks they could plan with a lot more confidence. Not to mention better racing and new circuits could be designed to have multiple lay outs including opposite direction.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        5th February 2021, 8:41

        With you on the opposite direction thing, perhaps very hard to do, but worth the effort. Driving a circuit in the other direction makes it feel like a completely different circuit, adding to the variety.

        I also feel F1 needs to go to Africa as a matter of principle to make it a world championship. Not a big thing, but it would be nice.

      2. Streetcircuit like San Fransico with his hills i would fine them ok Las Vegas with no elevation are not
        Miami is like Holland very flat that could never give any good racing. CotA circuit is great because of the elevations of the track.

    2. Please God let there be a home race for me in Miami! :)

    3. I would like to see some races in Africa. There are so many people who might become fans out there. And we have some pretty decent shots at racetracks.

      And yes, I would like many more interesting tracks to get on the calendar. However, I fear that none of the most interesting will get a chance to replace the most tedious ones (AbuDhabi, Sochi – hard to judge S.A. before it comes on, and Baku actually has had some interesting races, although it is no high fligher) because those are also the races that pay the most to be on the roster.

      The “right” amount of races is likely to be an evergreen discussion though.

    4. I like the Miami Dolphins colour theme, there. That big bright turquoise would look great. Hope it doesn’t disappoint like the other turquoise accented venue we have had on in recent calendars.

    5. Miami would be just another crappy street circuit. If they need another race in the U.S., try Watkins Glenn.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        5th February 2021, 13:14

        Better still, Road America at Elkhart Lake. Mouth watering.

    6. Personally I’d much prefer to stick with one race in USA.

    7. A Kyalami return would be good.

      1. Do we know if the track is suited to modern F1 cars?

        1. As suited as Yas Marina, Monaco or Imola? I just mentioned these because they are all very different tracks, no rating. Except for Yas maybe… What exactly are you on about?

        2. Kyalami holds currently only Grade 2 FIA license so they must improve to hold an F1 race. However the grading is complex so maybe they do not have to touch the track itself and just an upgrade on facilities will do for them.

          1. Run off areas need to be extended, which will mean a major break-up & rebuild of some existing structures around the circuit. In excess of $10million to complete to work to become a Gr1 circuit, which the owners aren’t prepared to spend.

            Also hosting and running an F1 GP in South Africa will cost a promoter approx R1 billion. The government won’t put a cent towards that, ticket sales will never cover those sorts of amounts, and there are no sponsors willing to spend that amount of money for a 3 day event … so the idea is stillborn.

    8. Ahh I see, so the F1 CEO also follows SimDanes excellent youtube channel :)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysIBexERyHw

    9. i want back zolder brands hatch jarama estoril andestrop mosport,

    10. The F1-to-Miami saga is pretty tedious to be honest.

      Given the whole “incorporating further events will pose a challenge” thing I don’t know why F1 doesn’t just move on and take one of the other easier to progress opportunities.

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