‘Formula 1 Coming to Africa?’ Lewis Hamilton Throws His Support Behind Racing Returning to the Continent

‘Formula 1 Coming to Africa?’ Lewis Hamilton Throws His Support Behind Racing Returning to the Continent

Byron Pillay
April 11, 2022 at 3:08 PM
  • Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton has reignited calls for Africa to play host to a Formula 1 event in the near future
  • Africa has not hosted a Formula 1 race since 1993, when South Africa played host to a Grand Prix at Kyalami
  • Africa is one of two continents where Formula 1 does not hold a race weekend during the current season

Sir Lewis Hamilton wants to see a Formula 1 event held on African shores.

The seven-time World Champion has reignited calls for South Africa to play host to a race, saying that a return to Africa could no longer be avoided.

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Lewis Hamilton has given the thumbs up to racing returning to the African continent. Image: Rudy Carezzevoli
Source: Getty Images

Apart from Antarctica, Africa remains the only continent where a Formula 1 event isn’t held during the current season. The last time Africa played host to Formula 1 was when South Africa held a race in 1993 at Kyalami, The Citizen reported.

Formula 1 is slowly expanding its calendar and will welcome a new addition next season when they head off to Las Vegas for a race. Hamilton commented on how exciting this was but added that they really wanted to come to Africa.

“The one I really, really want to see is South Africa. That’s the one I want to hear next that gets announced. We’re pretty much on every other continent, so why not (there)?”

Online publication, RN365, reported last year that Formula 1 was looking at racing on the African continent in 2023.

“South Africa? They want to return, not for 2022 but we are in talks for 2023 or after that,” Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said.

He added that there were other possibilities in North Africa as well, as new countries were making a bid to be a part of the Formula 1 calendar.

At present though, South Africa does not have a track suitable for Formula 1 races. Kyalami does not conform to the FIA’s Level 1 requirements and therefore cannot host a race.

South Africa's Shau Mafuna hired by Mercedes' Formula 1 team, gets approval from Lewis Hamilton

In other Formula 1 news, South Africa's Shau Mafuna will fly the flag for Mzansi when he serves as a mechanical engineer for the Mercedes Formula 1 team in the 2022 season, Sports Brief earlier reported.

Mafuna has dual Belgian and South African citizenship and has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wits University as well as a Master's Degree in Motorsport Engineering from Oxford Brookes University.

Mafuna was hired for the post after working at the Mercedes' Work Experience Academy (WEA) programme Sportskeeda reported. The WEA programme encouraged youngsters from diverse backgrounds to get into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths fields.

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Byron Pillay
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