While Formula 1 is increasingly considering organizing a Grand Prix in Africa, plans for the South African Kyalami circuit have failed for political considerations.
Formula 1 will still have to wait to find the African continent. For several years, the leaders of the discipline have made it a priority to organize a Grand Prix on a continent which has not been visited since 1993 and the victory of Alain Prost ahead of Ayrton Senna on the Kyalami track. The South African circuit, located in the Gauteng region between Cape Town and Johannesburg, very quickly became the target of F1 in order to accentuate the stature of the discipline as a world championship.
Everything was in place for the South African Grand Prix to return to the calendar 31 years after its disappearance in favor of the Pacific Grand Prix in Okayama and to the detriment of the Belgian Grand Prix, whose 2023 edition is linked to a contract only one year between the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and F1. But, according to information from the specialized site Racing News365, political considerations caused the project to fail.
— RacingNews365.com (@Racingnews365C) June 6, 2023
F1 does not want to link with South Africa
Indeed, while Formula 1 had entered into negotiations with the company 777, based in Miami, in order to make this return possible, the war in Ukraine came to upset the plans in place. South Africa is aligned with Russia within a diplomatic conference to which Brazil, India and China also belong. F1 having reacted very strongly to the attack launched by Moscow on Ukraine with the suspension of the 2022 edition of the Russian Grand Prix scheduled for Sochi then the outright breach of the contract binding until 2025 the discipline to the promoter local, these political considerations put an end, at least temporarily, to the paddock’s ambitions to return to Kyalami.
The direct consequence of this change of plans should be the maintenance of the mythical Spa-Francorchamps track on the calendar for the 2024 season, with the hope of the local promoter to find a medium-term agreement to secure the place of the Belgian Grand Prix.