Site logo

Africa the "priority" for F1

NEWS STORY
25/02/2021

F1's global director of race promotion admits that taking F1 back to Africa is a "priority" for the sport.

Since the formation of the Formula One World Championship in 1950, Africa has played host to the sport on a number of occasions.

In 1957 and 1958, F1 cars raced at Casablanca's Ain-Diab circuit, though it was only the 1958 event, won by Stirling Moss, that counted towards the world championship.

The sport subsequently headed to South Africa, where, between 1960 and 1993, East London and Kyalami hosted 27 races, the majority of which were world championship events.

Since the world championship last visited South Africa there have been numerous false starts, and while the sport has returned for testing purposes the continent hasn't played host to the F1 circus in almost three decades.

As has been said previously, a world championship that doesn't include the major continents cannot really be considered a true world championship, and unsurprisingly, the spot's bosses aim to put that right.

"I completely agree with Lewis," said the sport's global director of race promotion, Chloe Targett-Adams in a Blackbook online seminar, referring to world champion, Lewis Hamilton's claim that the sport must be in Africa.

"Africa is a continent that we don't race in, and that is just wrong," she admitted. "It's somewhere that we very much want, it's the priority. We've been in talks with possible options for a few years.

"We're hoping that ultimately, we will be able to achieve a race there in the kind of near to mid-term," she continued. "Alongside Africa, the U.S. remains a clear strategic priority. We've got a great race in Austin now, where we are looking forward to working with our promoter hopefully for some more years to come. But we're looking at a second race opportunity, a destination location, and looking to build up that U.S. race proposition. Equally Asia, we've made no secret of the fact that that also is a key priority."

Despite the talk, the reality is that since taking control of the sport, the only new addition to the calendar has been the Dutch Grand Prix, an event which, thanks to Max Verstappen's success, was a virtual shoo-in.

Meanwhile attempts to race in Miami have come to nothing, whilst the issues surrounding the Vietnam race make clear why even Bernie Ecclestone was keen to avoid a deal.

Asked about Vietnam, which has gone understandably quiet since the driving force behind the event, Nguyen Duc Chung was arrested on corruption charges, Targett-Adams said: "Vietnam is an incredibly exciting race location for F1. Hugely young demographic in the country, vibrant business sector, somewhere we're very, very excited to race.

"2020 was to be the first race, with an amazing circuit built in the outskirts of Hanoi. And then, totally understandably, no one wants to launch a first race in the middle of a pandemic.

"We’re working through some localised issues with some change in government going on as well, so we just decided and agreed with our promoter, Vingroup, that 2021 just wasn't the right timing for that.

"So we continue to work through with them, and longer term, we'd obviously still relish the opportunity to have a race in in Vietnam. So we're hoping we'll get there eventually."

If it happens, this year's calendar features the most races ever (23), and though claiming that there is much interest from potential hosts, Targett-Adams says one of the main problems is finding new slots on the schedule.

"We're a global series, we're fortunate that there's a lot of interest," she said. "Equally, there are limited spaces on the calendar. So that's when we look at, without wanting to leave any of the 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?

"Which is where the kind of alternation of existing circuits becomes quite an interesting concept. And working through that Africa, U.S. and Asia is where we're wanting to target in terms of new races, at this moment in time."

Of course, other than the fact that Targett-Adams merely appears to offer endless soundbites, the rather large elephant in the room is money, and even before the pandemic the sport was struggling to encourage new hosts on board.

In the aftermath, once the effects of the economic toll take hold, the only possible hosts are going to be the Chinese and the Saudis.

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by F1 Yank, 26/02/2021 16:57

"I would have to agree with Kenji on this one and all the descriptions. But hey, F1 has the deep pockets and need to keep their staff on the payroll. I know for a fact a city in Southern California spent over 250k on an impact study that went no where. I would think F1's price tag for the research would be many multiples of that. Of course the intention is not just to keep the staff but to place F1 in front of more eyes/cultures/communities, so the location usually is a secondary. How many race courses only run a few years and then close down?"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 26/02/2021 0:26

"Attempting to stage a GP in Africa seems totally out of the question. Like where? With so much of Africa embroiled in conflict of both ethnic and ideological origin it all seems pointless. South Africa...possibly but even that is questionable given the parlous state of the country's finances and the ravages of the virus. Forget East Africa and likewise West Africa and the case has no merit. As for North Africa? Possibly Morocco as they seem to have escaped major conflicts to date but even then it is difficult to stage a race other than a public round-the-houses. Methinks this is all ideological puffery and will not happen...so why waste time and money on pursuing it? "

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Lakota, 25/02/2021 19:01

"Should be talking to Roger Penske and get back to Indy "

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 25/02/2021 16:15

"Beyond North Africa or South Africa, where would be a place to hold such an event? How many FIA approved tracks are beyond the two polar regions of the continent?

Are sponsors going to be hot to promote themselves in that region? Is that the market that attracted them to be in F1? Certainly for some sponsors, but I don't that would be over 50% of the sponsors."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2021. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms