Grand Prix return to Africa “a priority” for Formula 1

Formula 1 has prioritised the addition of a race in Africa to its future schedule, according to the executive charged with putting the calendar together.

Grand Prix return to Africa “a priority” for Formula 1

F1 global director of race promotion Chloe Targett-Adams, who deals with event organisers, said that continent is top of the current wish list for new events.

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has stressed that Africa is where he would like the sport to go next. Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone tried for many years to find a way to return to South Africa, which last hosted a round of the World Championship in 1993, and that desire has continued under Liberty Media’s management.

While South Africa remains the most likely venue there has also been interest from other countries, notably Morocco, which hosted a race in 1958.

“I completely agree with Lewis, Africa is a continent that we don't race in, and that is just wrong,” Targett-Adams told 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.

“And we're hoping that ultimately, we will be able to achieve a race there in the kind of near to mid-term. Alongside Africa the U.S. remains a clear strategic priority. We've got a great race in Austin now, where we 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.”

Read Also:

Targett-Adams insisted that F1 has not given up on the Vietnam GP. The inaugural Hanoi race was postponed last year after the pandemic hit, and it was left off the 2021 schedule after a local political scandal.

“Vietnam is an incredibly exciting race location for F1,” she said. “Hugely young demographic in the country, vibrant business sector, somewhere we're very, very excited to race.

“And 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.”

Targett-Adams conceded that the main problem was finding room on the calendar for new and established events.

“We're a global series, we're fortunate that there's a lot of interest," she added. "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.”

shares
comments

Related video

Haas announces livery reveal date for VF-21 F1 car

Previous article

Haas announces livery reveal date for VF-21 F1 car

Next article

Aston Martin reveals new chassis naming convention for F1 rebrand

Aston Martin reveals new chassis naming convention for F1 rebrand
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper
The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke Prime

The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke

Pierre Gasly has driven superbly since demotion from Red Bull in 2019, but the team formerly known as Toro Rosso has come on strong too – building a car that can often challenge Ferrari and McLaren. Here Gasly reveals to ALEX KALINAUCKAS how AlphaTauri has given him the tools needed to rebuild his reputation

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021