Left Menu
Development News Edition

Motor racing-F1 in talks with Marrakesh and Kyalami for African race

Reuters | Updated: 16-05-2019 22:58 IST | Created: 16-05-2019 17:26 IST
Motor racing-F1 in talks with Marrakesh and Kyalami for African race
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Formula One wants to go back to Africa, with the Moroccan city of Marrakesh and South Africa's Kyalami circuit keen to host a race, commercial managing director Sean Bratches said on Thursday.

Rwanda and Nigeria have also expressed interest in fan festivals on their territory. "It's a marketplace in which we would like to race," Bratches said at a Sports Industry Breakfast Club event, two days after Formula One announced the return of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort in 2020 after a 35-year absence.

Morocco and South Africa have hosted world championship Grands Prix in the past, Casablanca in 1958 and South Africa in East London in the 1960s and Kyalami 20 times between 1967 and 1993. "We race on five continents now and the last habitable continent that we don't race it is Africa," said Bratches.

"We've been having very productive conversations in South Africa and to a lesser extent in Morocco about bringing a Grand Prix... we're on it. It's really important to us." Bratches said there was a "high degree of interest" from Morocco in a circuit race in Marrakesh, with the authorities seeing Formula One, owned by U.S.-based Liberty Media, as an economic engine for growth and tourism.

The all-electric Formula E series already holds an annual street race there. "The vast majority of our Grand Prix is underpinned by government and it's because it works. We shine a bright light on these cities," said Bratches.

Yath Gangakumaran, Formula One's director of Strategy and Business Development, told reporters that Rwanda and Nigeria were also keen to be involved in fan events. "I think Rwanda, in particular, have seen the benefits of the Arsenal sponsorship deal," he said. The Premier League club has had a 'Visit Rwanda' logo on players' left shirt sleeves since last year.

"There's a lot of interest not just for races but for actuation throughout the continent." Next season will see two new Grand Prix added to the calendar, with Zandvoort and the debut of Vietnam, but Mexico, Spain, Germany and Britain are out of contract at the end of 2019.

Mexico, Germany and Spain face particularly uncertain futures. "We are optimistic about the prospect of a 21 grand Prix schedule next year," said Bratches. "I don't think we are going to have more than that."

Tne American said, "productive conversations" were continuing with the Mexican promoter, whose race is set to lose essential government funding, and British GP hosts Silverstone, who say they cannot afford the current terms. A second U.S. race in Miami remains on the cards, despite Formula One and local organisers giving up on plans for a race downtown and focusing now on land next to the Miami Dolphins' Hard Rock Stadium.

"In an ideal circumstance we would be racing downtown Miami or downtown Las Vegas," said Bratches. "Those are the two cities in the United States that best align with our brand and our aspirations. "We are going to try and create the best experience in each market that (circumstances) will permit, not only from a racing standpoint but a fan engagement and economic standpoint... it's still viable."

The Miami race was originally scheduled for 2019 but pushed back due to until at least 2020 after local opposition to the proposed harbourside layout.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Videos

Latest News

China using tactical situation on ground to its advantage: Pompeo

China is using a tactical situation on the ground to its advantage and it has been making threats, like the one that is happening on its border with India, for a long time, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday. Pompeo, respondin...

SpaceX Crew Dragon delivers two NASA astronauts to International Space Station

Nearly 24 hours after launching from Florida, SpaceXs Crew Dragon capsule delivered NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station on Sunday, marking the first U.S. space capsule to do so with a crew since 20...

Black Lives Matter protests spread to UK

Thousands of people gathered across London on Sunday to protest against the killing of an unarmed black man by a police officer in the US as the Black Lives Matter protests spread to the UK. Protesters held up signs saying Justice for Georg...

Militants in Burkina Faso kill 35 in separate attacks, govt says

Militants in Burkina Faso attacked a cattle market and a humanitarian convoy, killing at least 35 people, the government said on Sunday.Saturdays violence underscores deep instability in parts of Burkina Faso, which has been battling armed ...

Give Feedback