The talk of an F1 Grand Prix returning to South Africa has certainly been of great interest to many.
In fact, it has reached the point where people are enquiring as to the availability of tickets for the 2023 South African Grand Prix. The answer is no idea and so far there has been no definite date fixed for the race.
Recently, there has been reports of the cancellation of the South African leg of the championship – interesting, as to my knowledge nothing had ever been finalised.
We are aware the Kyalami circuit was visited by FOM chief Stefano Domenicali, FIA personnel and representatives of promoters South African Grand Prix (Pty) Ltd with the objective of staging a grand prix on African soil.
The press release, last Sunday, said that Spa Francorchamps will be on next year’s F1 calendar, caused me to wonder whether SA was no longer on next year’s menu and there could be many reason why.
The circuit must already have a list of events to be held in the next twelve months and are not liable to be cancelled.
One has to consider the time needed to carry out required upgrades to the track – FIA events always require upgrades and they take time and money – with the latter another huge factor.
The fee required by Liberty Media from a promoter is an agreed amount between the two parties and is estimated to be between $30 to $40 million. Some, such as Middle Eastern countries, are rumoured to be paying well in excess of this figure.
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Then those upgrades, which can run into millions and becomes a further expenditure for the promoter.
Of course they still have to hire the circuit, so when you look at this – it becomes an incredibly expense venture.
The financial rewards for the promoter would be slim and more likely nonexistent, the only income is reported to be purely gate money all advertising and television rites income goes to Liberty.
So, I really do not think we will host a round of the F1 championship for some time. There are so many factors to be resolved and there are many other countries waiting to fill the openings on the calendar.
Although there are no official statements from the owners, the FIA and promoters, it would appear those articles do have some merit, so please stop asking me for tickets!
To see the 2022 F1 drivers’ standings, click here.