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Kyalami missed out in 2023 due to "greed"

NEWS STORY
14/03/2023

1979 world champion, Jody Scheckter says F1's failure to return to South Africa this year is down to greed on the part of Kyalami organisers.

Almost from the day Liberty Media took control of F1 in 2017, it has made no secret of its desire to return to South Africa, a move fully supported by seven-time champion, Lewis Hamilton.

Last summer it finally looked as though it was going to happen, with F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali travelling to South Africa following the Azerbaijan race for discussions aimed at closing a deal.

Speaking in 2021, F1's global director of race promotion admitted that taking F1 back to Africa was a "priority" for the sport.

"Africa is a continent that we don't race in, and that is just wrong," said Chloe Targett-Adams in a Blackbook online seminar. "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 added.

Speaking in 2020, when asked where he would most like F1 to race, Hamilton was in no doubt. "Easy," he replied, "Africa. It's such an important place to go back to.

"At the moment Formula 1 goes to countries and doesn't really leave much behind if anything," he added. "Formula 1 has to shift into being a sport that does go to places and leaves behind something that can really help the communities and I think firstly bringing the attention back to Africa and highlighting the beautiful place it is, I think that's the most important place that we have to go to.

"It needs to be held where it's not all about money," he said, "it's about people, and in business that's not always the case, so that's something I'm pushing for."

The most likely venue, as far as South Africa is concerned, was Kyalami, which, since its construction in 1961, has hosted the country's Grand Prix on twenty occasions, though since the 1993 event it has been completely rebuilt and the surrounding area developed.

Following the release of the race schedule for 2023, many were disappointed to see that South Africa hadn't made the final cut despite the widespread speculation that a deal had been close to being agreed.

"We need to make sure when we do something new, that it has to be with the right partners and be stable fundamentals to stay longer," Domenicali told Sky Sports at the time. "It would be wrong to go there one year and then disappear if the conditions aren't done properly. It's a matter of having the right financial assets, but also having the site ready for the weekend that we want to host in that place.

"The only thing that I can say that after the first contact with Kyalami is that there are other places in Africa that are interested on Formula One," he added. "That's a very clear target. Africa will come back and hopefully very soon on our calendar."

Scheckter has now shed light on Domenicali's cryptic reference to Kyalami.

"I was an inside part of it," he tells Total Motorsport.com, "my nephew worked on it for six years.

"It was that close," he adds. "The guy from Kyalami went from 500,000 to 2 million, and he wanted to take the whole thing over.

"F1 came over to sign. He had got government backing, some of the wealthiest people in South Africa behind it. Everything was in place, and the guy from Kyalami got greedy.

"As soon as F1 left, he changed the whole thing completely. The government realised there was a fight and withdrew, and that was the end.

"My nephew had been working on it for six years, nearly full-time. Because going through the government and getting its support and for them all to agree to put some budget in and then to secure the money. It takes a massive amount of effort. Then, all of a sudden, it was over, and he was left with nothing."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by alvarezh3, 15/03/2023 18:29

"@Editor

I do hope you didn't think I was being sarcastic when I asked to help me find the real truth about Ecclestone's "robbery" 'cause my words could of been easily misinterpreted. There is no need to ask for truth about your words, I trust you.

Race week, you are super busy, I won'l interrupt you anymore!

Anyhow, thanks for taking your time to answer.

Take care !"

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

2. Posted by Editor, 15/03/2023 15:46

"@ alvarezh3

Re: can you point me to where I could get the truth about Bernie's "mugging".

Certainly, just contact Bernard Charles Ecclestone

As for trustworthy British newspapers... there aren't any."

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3. Posted by alvarezh3, 15/03/2023 14:22

"@ Editor

Thanks for that. Just curious, can you point me to where I could get the truth about Bernie's "mugging".

Also, what British newspapers reporting can be usually trusted? "

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4. Posted by Editor, 15/03/2023 13:50

"@ alvarezh3

OK, you've made your point.

But as for the Bernie "mugging" - don't beleive everything you read. The truth of the attack is somewhat dofferent."

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5. Posted by alvarezh3, 15/03/2023 13:43

"I just remembered this:

Published by The Guardian on Nov 26, 2010

"Bernie Ecclestone suffered a head injury when he was mugged in central London, police sources revealed today, just weeks after he had suggested the city's streets were more violent than those of Brazil.

The 80-year-old billionaire was kicked and punched by his attackers before they escaped with about 200,000 worth of jewellery, according to reports. Four men were waiting for him and his Brazilian girlfriend as they arrived at the headquarters of his business, Formula One Holdings, in Knightsbridge, central London, on Wednesday evening.

The offices are near Buckingham Palace and within walking distance of Oxford Street, one of the capital's busiest shopping thoroughfares. Earlier this month, Ecclestone had said it was surprising the number of people who got mugged hourly in Oxford Street."

50 persons massacred in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.

More proof that crime is everywhere in the world, even in the most developed societies.

It has been stated: "It's easy to see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye.""

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6. Posted by alvarezh3, 14/03/2023 16:18

"It's the world we live in:

From the N.Y. Times dated October 31, 2017:

"A driver plowed a pickup truck down a crowded bike path along the Hudson River in Manhattan on Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring 11 before being shot by a police officer"

"Five of the people killed were Argentine tourists who traveled to New York for a 30-year high school reunion celebration, said a senior official in Santa Fe Province, where they were from.""

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7. Posted by Chester, 14/03/2023 11:38

"Don't we have enough races in difficult parts of the world? Button being robbed in Sao Paulo, women-having-lesser rights in Saudi Arabia, Mexico City? I've been to the Sao Paulo GP and the last 2 miles of walking is not great at all (unsafe).

South Africa? South Africa has descended into chaos since the time F1 was last there. F1 either wants to go to street circuits in Las Vegas or the world's hot spots. With that attitude they are riding for the fall."

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8. Posted by kenji, 14/03/2023 0:05

"Why is South Africa seen as important? East and West Africa seem to be non starters for many reasons...not least financial ones, and that, combined with ethnic and political tensions, strikes them out. The Dakar serves as a timely reminder. That leaves North Africa and I would see that as more constructive. Why not an Egyptian GP set to the backdrop of Giza and its famed landmarks? Why not a Morrocan GP? They used to hold GP races there many many years ago. !925 Casablanca GP and as late as 1958. Morocco like Egypt have their political issues pretty much under control so it's worth it if F1 is so adamant. However I don't believe that they will follow this up as the South African deal was far better suited to the 'woke ideals' being touted by certain individuals trying to use F1 for more than 'car racing'."

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9. Posted by Paulinho, 13/03/2023 13:18

"It's a great track and a shame a deal wasn't worked out. I couldn't imagine F1 doing the same in say asking a new team for $600 million to enter. "

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