South Africa to host Grand Prix

Former Formula One driver David Coulthard believes that South Africa should host a Formula One Grand Prix and has thrown his weight behind it being hosted at the newly revamped Kyalami Grand Prix circuit.


Coulthard, who was speaking ahead of the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco, has been out to South Africa recently where he spent some time in Johannesburg. The former Formula One driver who was at the track last year for an exhibition event, is adamant that it has the characteristics to host a race on the Formula One calendar.

South Africa, and Kyalami, last hosted a Grand Prix all the way back in 1993.

“That track is ready to go. The investment that has been made has made it a turnkey solution. The driver’s would love the challenge because it has retained a lot of the character of the race track, I think it has got what the FIA agreed to and I think it’s just a formality to being capable of hosting Formula One.”

Coulthard, now 45, is fully aware of the fact that Formula One weekends are massive events that, ultimately, need to make money for the host region. But, he adds, that is not necessarily the case at the moment.

“It was a question of cost and ability to host the event and actually make it at least a break-even business,” he says of South Africa losing Formula One.

“Formula One has lost a little bit of its ability to deliver that to places like South Africa.”

But, under new ownership, the industry could be prepared to try one or two shake-ups.

“Liberty Media (new owners) are meeting with everybody to try to really understand what the opportunities are,” said Coulthard.

“Clearly they need to get a return of investment, so that means bringing money in. But if you’ve got somewhere like Silverstone (England) with 120 000 people struggling to break even, then there’s something not quite right in the way the distribution of funds are happening.

“Let’s wait and see as the new contracts come up for renewal, whether there really is an appetite to go there (South Africa). From my point of view, why would we not? There is a fan base, cars are celebrated there.”

Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit

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Sources: EWN

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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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