Morocco and South Africa in line to host Formula One races

38e74f48 kyalami 1200x900 - Morocco and South Africa in line to host Formula One races

Liberty Media have reiterated their desire to host a Formula One grand prix on the African continent and revealed that they are looking at Kyalami in South Africa and Marrakesh in Morocco as potential locales.

South Africa and Morocco have hosted Formula One races in the past. The Morocco Grand Prix filled a slot on the Formula One calendar in 1957 and 1958. The ’58 race was one by F1 legend Stirling Moss. Kyalami hosted 20 Grand Prix 1967 and 1993.

Liberty Media commercial managing director Sean Bratches made the revelations at a Sport Industry Breakfast Club event in the Netherlands.

“It’s a marketplace [Africa] in which we would like to race ,” Bratches said.

“We race on five continents now and the last habitable continent that we don’t race in is Africa.

“We’ve been having very productive conversations in South Africa and to a lesser extent in Morocco about bringing a grand prix… we’re on it. It’s really important to us.”

Bratches said that having the backing of government in Morocco and South Africa would be very important.

“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,” he added.

The 2020 season will see two ‘new’ grand prix debut in Formula One, with the return of the Dutch GP at Zandvoort and the addition of the Vietnam GP. Mexico, Spain, Germany and Britain are out of contract at the end of 2019. The Mexican government are reportedly ready to pull the plug on funding the race.

“We are optimistic about the prospect of a 21 grand prix schedule next year,” said Bratches. “I don’t think we are going to have more than that.”

The US market remains Liberty’s promised land though and they are eager to add street courses in North Americans cities, with Miami and Las Vegas mooted.

“In an ideal circumstance we would be racing downtown Miami or downtown Las Vegas,” said Bratches. “Those are the two cities in the United States that best align with our brand and our aspirations.

“We are going to try and create the best experience in each market that (circumstances) will permit, not only from a racing standpoint but a fan engagement and economic standpoint… it’s still viable.”

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