South Africa circuit Kyalami not up to F1 standards

The Kyalami circuit just north of Johannesburg is set for a come back to the F1 calendar. The original sweeping circuit used from 1961 was abandoned by Formula One due to political pressure over apartheid in 1985.One of the more memorable F1 races held there was in 1977 which tragically saw a fatal accident claiming the life of a race Marshal and also F1 driver Tom Price.

In recent years the circuit has been bought and sold, gone bust and much of the old circuit has been developed into a residential and commercial suburb.

The circuit does not currently hold an FIA grade one certificate and so today’s visit by F1’s CEO Stefano Dominicali is to agree the upgrades necessary before F1 can even consider returning.

With the Russian GP now permanently cancelled due to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, there is space on the calendar in 2023 for a 24th race. This is the maximum number the teams have agreed to in a season, so paddock rumour is Kyalami has an opportunity to join the F1 circus.

When F1 announced the addition of Las Vegas for the 2023 calendar, Lewis Hamilton commented “The one I really, really want to see is South Africa. That’s the one I want to hear next that gets announced.”

Hamilton has long argued that Africa should be represented in the F1 world championship, though whether Kyalami can be ready for 2023 is questionable.

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6 responses to “South Africa circuit Kyalami not up to F1 standards

  1. I don’t think the owner of Kyalami will pay the greedy bosses of F1 and rightly so.If you can hold a GP on a street cicuit like Azerbaijan then I would suggest Kyalami could hold a GP without any additional upgrades.

    • It doesn’t have an FIA circuit grade 1 license for a reason. So modifications are clearly required. It may be fencing – or access for the recovery vehicles – who knows???

        • I feel the gp could really make a comeback next year with the changes and upgrades needed e.g. more runoff, ProTech barriers, wider pit entry and just a general referb of the track itself and the stands etc.

          • This is a hit piece article. Kyalami is not a dangerous track and back in the 80s and before it was a much different track than it is not. It may not be able to host for a number of other reasons more financially related. Upgrading it to F1 spec won’t be expensive in comparison to, say, Mexico City.

  2. Tom PRYCE was killed at Kyalami 1977 actually.
    The circuit was given a massive upgrade recently, and if Miami can host an extremely narrow street race, then surely Kyalami will be available? Just need to upgrade stands and seating for the many fans who will no doubt flock to Johannesburg.

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