Hamilton “dream” now over due to corruption

Lewis Hamilton has very few boxes left to tick in his Formula One career but those remaining he has placed a high value upon. Firstly, there was the hope he could beat Michael Schumacher’s all time record of seven driver world titles. Having matched it, it looks that Hamilton has gone about as far as he can on that front.

Another passion of the British driver was aroused over the issue of diversity. Hamilton became outspoken following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. He joined BLM marches and was photographed giving the black salute in London.




Hamilton ‘dreamed’ of racing in South Africa

Next up Lewis corralled his fellow drivers into making pre-race gestures in support of the BLM objectives while he himself wore BLM slogan shirts until he was banned from doing so by the FIA.

Of course during this political awakening, there was talk of Formula One returning to a historic circuit not visited since 1993 in South Africa. Kyalami was once again being talked of as the potential representative race Formula One could call him on the continent of Africa.

“It’s a real big dream for me to race in South Africa, and race in Africa in my career is a huge, huge dream for me,” Hamilton told ESPN.

“I know I have a big following out there and I know a lot of people are into Formula One now there so I’m pushing as hard as I can in the background and I’m going high up to make sure we have that race happen.”



F1 committed to South Africa project

The CEO of the F1 commercial rights owners Liberty Media had also weighed in behind the Kyalami bid suggesting there could have been a race on this seasons schedule.

“We try to say we race on every continent where people have cars,” Maffei told motorsport.com

“We’re trying [to return to South Africa]. We haven’t gotten there yet, but we’re trying. I think things are set up well there.”

His comments were made last year prior to the finalising of the 2023 schedule, yet even then all was not well behind the scenes.

Norris tired with McLaren



The SA deal with F1 ready to go

TimesLIVE since then reported had that SA billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe had agreed to sponsor the $35m (R590m) hosting fee for a local race.

However, rumour had it that the $7m required to upgrade the Kyalami circuit had not been found and so the circuit remains without the necessary FIA grade 1 certification required to host Formula 1.

However as TJ13 reported in a “tell all” earlier this year, the son of South Africa’s only Formula One champion had worked on the deal for six years only to be thwarted at the final hour by greed. 

“Going [to the] government and getting [their support], and for them all to agree to put some budget in and then to secure the money – it takes a massive amount [of effort],” revealed Jodi Scheckter, F1 champion in 1978.

“F1 came over to sign. He had got government backing, some of the wealthiest people in South Africa behind it.”



Greed kills the South African F1 GP

It appears at this point the promoter felt he could grab a greater share of the income from the event as Scheckter goes on to explain.

“Everything was in place, and the guy from Kyalami got greedy,” Scheckter said.

“Just as soon as F1 left, he changed the whole thing completely.

“The guy from Kyalami went from 500,000 to 2 million, and he wanted to take the whole thing over,” he said. 

“The government realised there was a fight and withdrew, and that was the end.”

Barcelona F1 race to alternate with Madrid



Political forces blamed

At the last minute in stepped Florida based Sports Investment Company 777 in an attempt to salvage the deal, however they too have now passed the deadline given by the FIA to confirm a race can be held there in 2024.

This week RacingNews365.com claims “a decision has been made to abandon plans for a South African GP in the near future due to political reasons.”

“According to sources, the decision was taken because South Africa has aligned closely with Russia.

South Africa is part of the BRICS alliance which includes Russia and is set to hold a meeting of the heads of state this summer. A huge row has broken out in the country over whether if Vladimir Putin lands on South African soil he should be arrested under the terms of the warrant issued by the International Criminal Court.



F1 race in South Africa now dead in the water

However, whilst the founder of RacingNews265 is South African and has a depth of knowledge on this subject due to his heritage, TJ13 believes this excuse given by 777 is merely an easy way out given they have failed to move the project forward in months, something Scheckter who knows the local lie of the ground failed to do in six years.

South Africa is a relatively corrupt country with violent crime on a rampant increase. Much of the State’s wealth is generated from mineral deposits and despite cheap labour costs organisations within South Africa are inefficient.

It appears Lewis Hamilton’s “dream” of racing in South Africa, the Rainbow Nation,  is over because this latest failure to agree a contract with Formula One is not a mere delay, but the end of the road for Kyalmai.

A South African GP has therefore been deemed untenable in the near future, signalling a reprieve for Spa,” concludes RacingNews365.



Reprieve for Belgium GP

This is great news for the historic Belgium circuit in Spa Francorchamps because they were being inked out to make way for the South African race. Formula One currently only has an agreement between the teams, the FIA and F1 for 24 races a season and so the advent of a 25th event for next year would have required the sport to drop one of its existing events.

READ MORE: Russell “cheeky” move forces Barcelona circuit alternation

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