Kyalami, 2018

F1 CEO Domenicali visits Kyalami for talks over 2023 race

2023 F1 season

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Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is visiting the Kyalami circuit in South Africa today for talks over adding the venue to 2023 calendar.

Kyalami last held a round of the world championship in 1993. The circuit north of Johannesburg has been renovated within the last 10 years.

It does not currently hold an FIA grade one certificate necessary to holds grands prix. However, the grade two standard track should need relatively little work to bring it up to F1 standards, and the circuit layout itself is unlikely to require alterations.

Kyalami was a fixture on the F1 calendar between 1967 and 1985. However, several teams refused to attend the final race, and many sponsors withdrew, due to growing concerns over racing in the country under Apartheid. F1 returned to a heavily revised circuit for two further races in 1992 and 1993, but hasn’t raced in the continent of Africa since.

Lewis Hamilton has repeatedly urged F1 to return to Africa, which is the only inhabited continent lacking a round on the current calendar. After the championship confirmed its return Las Vegas two months ago, Hamilton said: “The one I really, really want to see is South Africa. That’s the one I want to hear next that gets announced.”

Next year’s calendar could include as many as 24 races if South Africa is added and F1 returns to China. The race in Shanghai has not been held since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pictures: Kyalami

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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30 comments on “F1 CEO Domenicali visits Kyalami for talks over 2023 race”

  1. Fantastic news!!! Tremendous circuit with great history! This is the sort of venue that needs adding to the calendar, not dangerous and mickey mouse street tracks.

    1. For sure.

  2. Great track but what’s next? 30 races in a season?

      1. @jerejj We started the year with 23 races. Add Vegas and Kyalami + a replacement to Russia. It makes 25. Possible Qatar, Vietnam, Nurburgring, Mugello and we will have 29..

        1. @qeki Qatar is coming back, but, where are you getting Vietnam, Nurburgring and Mugello from? The Vietnam track doesn’t even exist, Mugello is a definite no because Ferrari doesn’t want F1 racing there and Nurburgring has openly said multiple times that a race is not viable under current financial circumstances and conditions. We haven’t even heard a single rumour of them returning for months now.

          Having said all that, China is most likely returning next year so 2 or 3 of the current races will have to make way. My bet is on France going away either for good or moving into an alternating deal with another race, beyond that, no idea.

          1. @xenn1 If China, Qatar, LV, & Kyalami appear simultaneously, both Paul Ricard & Spa would have to get axed, or the latter remain, only if it alternated with some other European circuit presently on the schedule.

          2. @xenn1 I wasn’t too serious about that message. I’m afraid in few years time it will propably be closer to 30 than 25

        2. @qeki You already got pointed out below about your suggested locations not joining/rejoining, so I’ll only bring up the relevant point.
          An upper limit exists & needs honoring, not to mention entirely impossible logistically to do that many events anyway, so people should be realistic with their thoughts.

          1. above rather than below

  3. petebaldwin (@)
    13th June 2022, 12:22

    It’s obviously a issue having more and more races… Where does it stop?

    Having said that, I’m never going to complain about a proposal for them to head out to race on a proper track like Kyalami and it’s only right that a global sport races on every continent.

    1. @petebaldwin At the upper limit, of course, but yes, having a race(s) on every continent (or all bar Antarctica & Mid-America) is rightful for a world championship series.

  4. Proesterchen_nli
    13th June 2022, 12:41

    Who is going to pay to upgrade the track?

    Who is going to pay to host a Grand Prix?

    And who is going to ask Stefano Domenicali just how much another singular race 12 hours away from Europe is going to add to the costs and CO2 output of Formula 1?

  5. Replace Saudi GP with this and it’ll be a perfect move. I wouldn’t mind losing the Miami GP as well, but for now that’s an empty hope.

  6. Overtaking will be very difficult here I think.

  7. I would love to see F1 in new places. South Africa, India, New Zealand. Maybe somewhere like a Barbados or Hawaii would be neat. But the calendar is near the limit, 25 and 30 races is way too many.

    1. I would have a race on the streets of Tel Aviv …

      1. Going back to Russia might be a better idea…

  8. I know he isnt part of this site anymore but @dieterrencken must be so happy.
    Nice to have a race in SA.

  9. I would certainly say yes to a return for Kyalami. Here’s my dream calendar using 1960s cars, including Kyalami, and imagining that the drivers will be totally safe from injury or death. I know most of the races are in Europe but that is where most of the best tracks are.

    1. Albert Park, Australia. Not among the best tracks on the calendar but it is better than average, and for me the season starts with waking up in the early hours for the first Grand Prix in Australia.
    2. Sepang, Malaysia. Disappeared from the calendar in 2017 but tends to provide exciting racing and can also provide changeable weather conditions. Much-missed from the calendar.
    3. Kyalami, South Africa. An exciting, high-speed track in a continent that doesn’t currently have a race track. The backdrop of the track is also somewhat unique.
    4. Donington, UK / Portimao, Portugal / Reims-Gueux, France (on rotation). This is a cheat way of sneaking in more good tracks. Donington has only hosted one GP but it was a classic, and the Craner Curves and the Old Hairpin are a cracking sequence of corners, Portimao was the best new edition to the 2020 calendar and provides great side-by-side racing, and there’s just something beautiful about Reims.
    5. Bremgarten, Switzerland. Disappeared following Switzerland’s ban on motorsport after the Le Mans disaster, but was a great high-speed track with some heavy braking zones as well.
    6. Monaco. Undroppable, for its history and the skill required to drive it, despite the processional races, and overtaking was far easier in smaller cars.
    7. Montreal, Canada. Another track that tends to provide interesting races, and the race here in 2011 was the greatest of all time.
    8. Silverstone, UK. A good high-speed track that also allows cars to run side-by-side for much of the lap, and so there can be some great battles here.
    9. Red Bull Ring, Austria / Osterreichring, Austria. While the Osterreichring is an amazing high-speed track, there are quite a few of those on this calendar and the shorter Red Bull Ring is particularly good for side-by-side racing, so I have decided to alternate between the two layouts.
    10. Rouen-Les-Essarts, France / Clermont-Ferrand, France. Two very similar tracks, which are great to watch the cars on, and are in great locations.
    11. Hockenheim, Germany. Another good track which usually provides exciting races and is much-missed from the calendar.
    12. Hungaroring, Hungary. Doesn’t always provide good racing but for some reason there have been quite a few crazy races there. It probably would have better racing in the old cars, and there are some interesting corner sequences.
    13. Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. This is a track that is brilliant despite being shortened from the original layout, and I would alternate between the layouts.
    14. Monza, Italy. But the version of this track without the chicanes for some unique slipstreaming races.
    15. Brands Hatch, UK. Another beautiful track with some great corner sequences that would be much better for old cars than the current ones.
    16. Zandvoort, Netherlands. A welcome return to the 2021 calendar, and the banked corners are particularly exciting.
    17. Nordschleife, Germany. If only it wasn’t so dangerous. This track reminds be of a rally track more than an F1 track and, to watch a qualifying lap, would be the best in the world to watch the cars. It couldn’t not be on this calendar.
    18. Watkins Glen, USA. It is a shame that the increase in American circuits has resulted in more street circuits rather than classics like Watkins Glen.
    19. Suzuka, Japan. Has provided some great title deciders in the past and is also one of the best on the current calendar to watch a qualifying lap, while in older, smaller cars the races would also be more exciting.
    20. Interlagos, Brazil. Alternating between the layouts. I like this track to be the title decider even though it was among the early races for a long time, but on the current calendar it is probably the most likely to provide an exciting races, and the weather can often play a part as well.

  10. greasemonkey
    13th June 2022, 16:48

    A modern safety formula on pre aero principles would be great. If people can adapt to losing the non turbo wail, they can be won over by seeing the best driving actually “race” like most of the rest of us who do race do (karts, Formula Ford, sports cars, etc…no or very low aero). The racing is just better, and the important tech (like EV or hybrid) can still happen.

    Sepang, oh yes. It is one of the good Tilkes.

    Portamao is maybe too good to just be in a rotation.

    Montreal kinda sucks, but it is the most extreme braking stress track, so I can see keeping that, on tech grounds.

    Hungaroring might totally come alive without aero, so yeah, try it, but maybe as a rotation track.

    The Ring? Maybe not. Even in this dreamland thought experiment, I think that is maybe a bridge too far (it is actually not far from where Operation Market Garden was, although Spa is even closer) :).

    Watkins Glen is not a track I personally like very much, but ok. Although I think Road America or Sonoma would be better road courses. However, Sebring is “nasty” in a good way for racing, so that might be cool.

  11. i dont believe that next year will be back maybe 2024 for this car this circiut was too narrow, i love old kyalami, 1993 last race here ,i dont understand why bulit that old bulidings there next year qatar china las vegas 3 race msat go out

  12. At least it is not a Mickey Mouse street circuit

  13. RandomMallard
    13th June 2022, 19:00

    Just gonna use this opportunity to allow people to discover this masterpiece (don’t worry, it’s only a YouTube link).

  14. The old Kyalami layout that was used until the 80s was a brilliant track but i’ve never been especially fond of the subsequent revisions.

    As it is now it’s not bad or anything & I certainly think it’s better than most of the more modern style circuits, But it’s just not a circuit that I can get that excited about. Especially when considering that that I don’t think the racing on the newer layout has ever been especially good outside of GT cars.

    I think maybe it just suffers from the same think tracks like Hockenheim, Nurburgring & the new iteration of Mexico does in that the newer layouts just pale in comparison to the older one’s so whenever I think of those tracks I can’t help but remember how much better they were before which perhaps skews my opinion of them a bit more negative than if they didn’t have the history.

  15. It seems that FIA needs an A series with junior drivers but same machinery as F1 to find room to so many tracks asking for a spot. If a team/driver/venue wins the series then is promoted and we can get rid of paid drivers and bad teams and bad tracks. F1 by merit.

  16. I would love to see F1 at Kyalami, as an ex South African and having been to F1 at the old track.

  17. South Africa is an absolute mess. F1 should not be going there.

    1. South Africa like many countries 1st world to 3rd world have problems and challenges. I live here. While it has its issues its a wonderful and mostly friendly place to live and or visit. So i beg to differ… We are definitely wanting an F1 race this side of the world.

  18. Lets drop Monaco for a proper race track rather than a rich mans playground! As much as there is skill in the drivers going around Monaco and not hitting the walls, the track itself is just too narrow, bumpy and restrictive on overtaking to be a proper modern F1 track!

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