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FIA president in 'big deal' claim over F1 Africa return

FIA president in 'big deal' claim over F1 Africa return

F1 News

FIA president in 'big deal' claim over F1 Africa return

FIA president in 'big deal' claim over F1 Africa return

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has recognised the imperative for increased motorsport attention in Africa, particularly as F1 eyes a return to the continent.

Since the South African Grand Prix of 1993, F1 has been absent from Africa, and despite a robust 24-race calendar for the upcoming season, Africa remains the only continent without a race.

While a return to South Africa is not slated for 2024, and prospects for 2025 are uncertain, Ben Sulayem emphasised the necessity of intensified focus on motorsport development in Africa.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem is keen for F1 to return to Africa
Lewis Hamilton has long been an advocate of an African race on the F1 calendar

Ben Sulayem: Africa needs attention

"We have very good contacts in Africa," Ben Sulayem told Motorsport-Magazin. "There should be more attention on Africa. In Africa we have a good vice president.

"We are strengthening the clubs there. In some regions we start at the grassroots, we call it 'motorsport in a box'. This is a box that you get from the FIA. It contains very simple equipment such as timing and telephones. Then you can at least do speed tests.

"If we want to grow there, we can't do it from above. I can't give orders, the water doesn't flow downwards here. It's the other way around, it goes from bottom to top. You have to start at the base.

"That's why we recently launched 'Motorsport in a Box', we'll send it to you and we'll win you over to motorsport. In South Africa they have a lot of history in motorsport.

"Since last year there has been a lot of talk about whether Formula 1 is coming back to Kyalami. That would be a big deal for Africa. We are also thinking about an electric championship that would like to involve Africa. That would be good too."

READ MORE: FIA president admits 'unfair step' towards new F1 rules

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