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Ecclestone keen to take F1 back to South Africa

NEWS STORY
19/12/2014

Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that he is keen to get South Africa back on the F1 schedule along with a second race in the United States.

Although Grands Prix were held in South Africa prior to 1962, it was that year's event which was the country's first race to count as part of the official Formula One World Championship.

In the 70s and 80s the Kyalami circuit regularly hosted the Grand Prix until it slipped off the calendar after 1985 (pictured), the sport no longer able to resist the growing global condemnation of apartheid.

In the wake of the end of apartheid the sport returned again in 1992 and 1993 but by then the sheer cost of hosting a round of the world championship meant the circuit's new owners, the South African Automobile Association, could no longer justify the expense.

Over the years since there has been talk of a return, and a couple of pre-season tests at Kyalami proved that there was still great interest in the sport, thousands flocking to see just a couple of teams on duty.

Now, despite a calendar already bursting at the seams, Bernie Ecclestone admits that he would like to see the sport return.

"We want to have a race in South Africa, it would be great to get back to this part of the world," he told RIA Novosti.

Sadly, if the sport does return to South Africa it would most likely be as a street race, Porsche South Africa having bought the heavily modified circuit earlier this year.

"Americans have one race and want to have one more," he added, though with New Jersey now virtually dead in the water, attention appears to be shifting to Las Vegas.

Unsurprisingly, the F1 supremo was keen to lavish further praise on the latest addition to the calendar, citing Sochi as one of the great circuits.

"Russia is a very, very, very, very important country and we worked toward this event for 30 years," he said. "The organization was perfect, absolutely super. All the teams have been happy here and want to come back, be here."

In a move sure to raise eyebrows, Ecclestone admitted that that Russia won its place on the calendar in spite of better (financial) offers from elsewhere.

"Maybe they are ready to pay more money than we got here. But it's not the most important thing in the world," he said.

Reports that his nose suddenly began to grow longer remain unconfirmed.

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1. Posted by Spindoctor, 23/12/2014 8:57

"Yawn.... "

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