Lack of a GP in Africa is “just wrong” says F1’s race promotion director

2021 F1 season

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Formula 1’s global director of race promotion says it is “just wrong” the world championship does not have a round in Africa.

Chloe Targett-Adams named the continent as a priority destination for the series. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali recent confirmed the championship has spoken to potential race promoters in the north and south of Africa.

Lewis Hamilton said last year it is “important” F1 returns to Africa, which last held a round of the championship in 1993.

“I completely agree with Lewis,” Targett-Adams told the BlacBook Motorsport Virtual Summit yesterday. “Africa is a continent that we don’t race in and that is just wrong.

“It’s somewhere that we very much want to. It is a priority. We’ve been in talks with possible options for a few years and we’re hoping that ultimately we will be able to achieve a race there in the near to mid-term.”

One promoter, SAGP, is keen to revive the grand prix at Kyalami, which has held more F1 races than any other circuit on the continent. However Africa is one of several areas F1 wants to expand its presence in.

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“Alongside Africa the US remains a clear strategic priority,” said Targett-Adams. “We’ve got a great race in Austin now, we look forward to working with our promoter there hopefully for more years to come. Equally we’re looking at a second race opportunity, a destination location and looking to build up that US race proposition we have.

“Equally Asia, we’ve made no secret of the fact that also is a key priority. We’re a global series. We’re fortunate that there’s a lot of interest.”

Formula 1 is considering alternating some venues from year to year to add greater diversity to the calendar without further increasing the record 23 rounds being held this year.

“There are limited spaces on the calendar so that’s when we look at – without wanting to leave any of our cornerstones of the calendar behind or longer-term relationships – how do we manage that opportunity of bringing on these new locations and being able to reach fans in those areas whilst also maintaining?

“Which is where that alternation of existing circuits becomes quite an interesting concept. And working through that Africa, US and Asia is where we’re wanting to target in terms of new races at this moment in time.”

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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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  • 31 comments on “Lack of a GP in Africa is “just wrong” says F1’s race promotion director”

    1. I can see the vision in wanting to get a race in Africa to demonstrate a true world championship, it will just be interesting to see what F1 are willing to sacrifice (in $$$) to go there.

      Kyalami is probably the only viable circuit right now so if F1 state they must be in Africa then Kyalami can drive down the fees unless competition can be found.

      1. Kyalami is surrounded by industrial and office parks and can not be made bigger to comply with the FIA standards.

        Also, South Africa has enough problems to spend a $100mil to upgrade and host an F1 GP.

        But we’ll probably spend $200mil,half of which will be lost to corruption unfortunately.

        1. I could make the absolute same statement, just replacing Kyalami with Miami and South Africa with America. Corruption seam to be so attractive to F1. When Russia got on the calendar, It was just one of those “Bernie thing”. Same with China and a host of Middle East countries. It looks like Liberty has made it a “key priority” to continue the tradition: Whoever can pay…..

    2. What news is this when F1 boss Domenicali just said the same thing not many days ago?

      1. @balue What news was that when Hamilton said it a year ago? Perhaps that it keeps being an “issue”?

        Although the pressing question for me would be what the point would be of spending a couple hundred million on a race track. You’d think they have better use for the money

        1. I mean it was a story here at RaceFans when Domenicali said it, and then when one of his employees parrots the same thing some days later it’s hardly worthy another article.

          1. It’s off season. If there is better content please share a link so we parrot about it.

    3. Good to read all the continents are key priority. I’m interested in the 34 race rounds schedule

      1. Zach (@zakspeedf1team)
        25th February 2021, 9:04

        Yeah, I was thinking the same. When everything is a priority, then nothing is priority. Something will have to give sooner rather than later.

    4. I think the last thing Africa need is a F1 GP. All this trash talk about diversity and inclusion is money motivated as we know there are a lot of governments/dictators living on the blood and sweat of their people looking for international exposure willing to pay millions to host a F1 GP. I think F1 realised that they need to take part of some of that action too. Africans need access to better education, food, healthcare… and not showbiz events.

      If F1 are really looking to do something for Africa, can they organize a single event there with part of its revenue going to international humanitarian organizations working in Africa, another part going as scholarships for African students to study STEM/motorsport engineering in the UK… I know I must be dreaming.

      1. Zach (@zakspeedf1team)
        25th February 2021, 11:45

        After reading the first line I was ready for a hard disagree, but no, you make excellent points. And your points stand for the world as a whole and not just Africa.

      2. Why should everything that the Western world does in Africa have to be tied up with “development”?

        Why can’t an African nation just have an F1 race to enjoy on its own merits? Nobody has claimed that the F1 races in the Middle East or Russia are for “development”, so why should a race in South Africa or Nigeria or Egypt be any different?

      3. As an African, please don’t try and speak for Africans again. Thanks.

    5. Wrong… it’s wrong we don’t have a F1 race in Africa… Let that phrase sink in.

      A lot of things are wrong in the world. But F1 not doing their business in Africa for money reasons (which is the only reason why they go places) is not wrong. Right or wrong is another way of saying they have or they don’t have the money to afford us, or that specific geographical location is interesting for the brands we represent.

      There’s nothing “humanitarian” about F1 going certain places… I don’t know why they keep forcing that illusion.

      1. Agreed. With the emphasis on the last syllable.

    6. The fact that Germany is not hosting a GP is a matter much more pressing and “wrong”.

      1. Bring back Nürburgring and Hockenheim.

    7. Africa I understand, USA fair enough, it’s a pretty useful market, but Asia? Even without China and Vietnam, Asia makes up over 25% of this year’s calendar (unless they don’t consider the Middle East as part of Asia). An African round and another US round would already take us up to 25, I don’t know if that’s still the hard cap, but any more and they’d either have to abandon some existing venues or start rotating events biennially. I love Formula 1 but I must admit I find even 20 grands prix a bit of a slog. Maybe if there was a bit more competition I’d feel more amenable but I think they’ve reached the point where adding grands prix is actually going to make it easier for me to watch fewer. Not that that really affects their bottom line, just my $0.02.

    8. Through the souks or Marrakesh?

    9. @tomd11 24 (or 23 based on one info I got back in December, which could’ve been incorrect, I don’t know) is the upper limit. At least one current track would have to face sacrification should Kyalami return someday.
      Yes, over 25% since Middle Eastern places indeed count for Asia as the Arabian Peninsula/Gulf region is geographically in Asia.

    10. Hamilton should take some of $500 million and build a new racetrack in Africa.

    11. Rotating races is fine by me to get races in alternative locations. My concern is that it might only be the European races which are rotated. If rotation meant one less Asian race per season, one less Middle East race per year and two less European races per year, then they could easily add in two extra races in Africa and two in the U.S.

    12. This woke garbage has killed this sport for me.

      1. Lets assume this is occurring entirely or primarily for woke reason. The prospect of returning to a track with a lot of heritage, which might not be a first rate track but is much better than Abu Dhabi or Sochi, has killed the sport for you? Can I ask exactly what you got from this sport prior to wokeness ruining it?

    13. Lol amazing how many smart ass comments are nade here by every one who thinks he has an actual say. This is about a motorsport event that has chriss-crossed the globe for many years and it has a fan base and a true petrol head following that no doubt has g8ven many people across the world jobs etc. So hows about if you font like it go play golf or follow your stupid rugby ir whatever and let f1 be. Sooner it returns to kyalami sooner the place will be sustanable to create new jobs and bring foreign exchange in. Who says that local will have to pay for anything when F1 is an international event with international money viewed by millions. Hope to see SAGP back SOON 👍👍👍

    14. Whats so woke about including Africa?

      1. You’ll see it clearly should North Africa be selected

    15. “Ah shyt, here we go again”

      CJ, 1992

    16. Nigeria would make a lot of sense. Huge population, central location, local motorsports scene, beautiful beaches, corrupt officials. Sounds perfect for F1!

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