Return to Africa a priority for F1 owners

A return to Africa is a priority for Formula 1 owners Liberty Media, and the Moroccan city of Marrakech has indicated an interest in holding a race, according to commercial boss Sean Bratches.

Return to Africa a priority for F1 owners

Morocco hosted a round of the world championship on a single occasion as the finale of the 1958 season, on a road course in Casablanca.

More recently the country has established a firm place on the international sporting calendar, with Marrakesh hosting street races for the WTCC from 2009 to 2017, and Formula E from 2016 to 2019.

F1's most recent visit to the continent was in 1993 for the last of the 20 South African GPs to be staged at Kyalami. Prior to that the country's race was held in East London.

Over the years there have been regular on-off attempts to bring F1 back to South Africa, with Cape Town in the frame at one stage.

"We race on five continents and the last habitable continent that we don't race in is Africa," Bratches said at a sports industry event in London. "We've been having very productive conversations in South Africa and to a lesser extent in Morocco about bringing a grand prix.

"We raced there before. I've been told that due to political considerations historically, that ceased. We're on it, and it's really important to us."

Expanding afterwards on the prospects of both countries, he told Reuters: "It's a marketplace in which we would like to race. We are a global sport.

"There's a historic circuit in South Africa, Kyalami. Toby Venter, who owns the Porsche dealerships in South Africa has purchased it, fully remediated it, garages, paddock.

"Similarly to other markets around the world, we have been proactively approached by other areas such as Morocco, Marrakesh. There's a circuit there as well. I'm a little bit less familiar with the status, I suspect it's not a grade one circuit, but there is a high degree of interest."

Bratches suggested that it was inevitable that public funding would be involved in a Morocco project.

"Wherever you go in the world [our races] are economic engines for these countries, states, cities, principalities, municipalities.

"The vast majority of our grands prix are underpinned by government and it's because it works. We shine a bright light on these cities, there's a lot of direct economic impact that comes in."

Asked about a possible time frame, he said: "It's dynamic. We are looking in the short term, let's frame it up that way."

shares
comments
Renault refusing to "renegotiate" goals for F1 2019
Previous article

Renault refusing to "renegotiate" goals for F1 2019

Next article

Why F1 is embracing cryptocurrencies

Why F1 is embracing cryptocurrencies
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer Prime

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer

OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months.

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Prime

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. Oleg Karpov asks if any of these goals are achievable…

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021