CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Formula One boss Stefano Domenicali arrived in South Africa on Monday for talks about holding a race in the country as early as next year, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Domenicali is expected to meet with representatives of the Kyalami circuit near Johannesburg with the aim of reaching a deal for a South African race to be added to the 2023 schedule. No final agreement has yet been reached, the person said, but the plan was to have a South African Grand Prix next year.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of Domenicali’s trip have not been publicly announced. Domenicali traveled to South Africa after Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the person said.
South Africa last hosted an F1 race in 1993. Africa is the only continent apart from Antarctica not to have a race on the current schedule.
If South Africa is added, it would be the second new race for 2023, with Las Vegas already set to join next year.
The South African Grand Prix was held for 25 years from 1960-85 — mostly at Kyalami — before F1 left South Africa because of the apartheid regime. It returned for two races at Kyalami in 1992 and 1993 after Nelson Mandela was released from prison.
A return to South Africa has been on F1’s radar for some time, and a South African consortium tried to bring a street race to Cape Town 10 years ago. Kyalami is seen as a much safer bet for F1 because of its history of hosting the South African GP.
AP Sports Writer Jerome Pugmire in Paris contributed to this story.
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