Max Verstappen: 'I'd like to race in Africa. So Kyalami would be a cool addition'

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Red Bull driver says he would love to see South Africa's Kyalami added to the race calendar in the near future.
Red Bull driver says he would love to see South Africa's Kyalami added to the race calendar in the near future.

 • Max Verstappen is the latest F1 driver wishing for a race in South Africa.  
 • The world champion shares the sentiments of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton wanting Kyalami announced. 
 • The last time the South African Grand Prix was held was in 1993, won by Alain Prost at the time.
 • For motoring news, go to Wheels24.

Conversations about bringing Formula One back to South Africa have been going on for years. Recently Lewis Hamilton said SA is missing from the race calendar; now, the defending world champion Max Verstappen shares his sentiments. 

It might be the only thing the two rivals (and champions) have in common right now, but as South African Formula 1 fans, we have been begging for a comeback.

READ | 'The one I really want to see is South Africa,' says Lewis Hamilton on next F1 race addition

And who knows, if everyone keeps mentioning it and putting it out to the universe (or instead to Liberty Media), perhaps the F1 gods will hear our wishes.

According to a post on Oracle Red Bull Racing's Twitter profile, Max Verstappen says in the latest installment of the team's exclusive fan club, The Paddock, the champion is asked by supporter 'Frank' where in the world he would like to see an F1 race added to the calendar. Verstappen answers: "I'd like to race in Africa. So Kyalami would be a cool addition."

The last time a Grand Prix race was held in South Africa at the iconic racetrack was in 1993, won by Alain Prost. But not too long ago, Wheels24 reported that Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton said (as early as April 2022) that South Africa is the one race he'd like to see added to the Formula One calendar. Hamilton's wish for South Africa to be added to the calendar came after he expressed his delight about the sport growing in America, with Las Vegas as an addition to the 2023 calendar.

According to a report by ESPN, the seven-time world champion said at the time: "Africa remains the only continent without a race on the current schedule.

"The one I really, really want to see is South Africa," he added. "That's the one I really want to hear next that gets announced."

Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali has mentioned South Africa a couple of times since he has taken over the sport. As long as these conversations are in place, we can only hope the wish could find fruition in reality.

In an exclusive Wheels24 interview with Kyalami owner Toby Venter earlier in 2021, the possibility of a return to SA could be very likely.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE: Is Formula 1 coming back to SA? Kyalami owner Toby Venter explains  

Venter said at the time: "We want to have a race in Africa, and we want someone to pay for it. If the money is there, the race will happen. And, if F1 is desperate to race in Africa, even without the money, we have the track."

Image: Porsche AG

Venter says the racetrack is already a world-class venue and getting it Grade 1 ready would only need a minor revision.

"The most important thing is that it's safer than a street circuit. The FIA would need to come over for inspection, and they'll ask for some upgrades, like installing the sport's hi-tech (tecpro) barriers here and there."

He also said: "If there is no way the government will fund the sport, we have the track; Formula 1 has the show; there must be a deal somewhere."

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