Miami faces competition for second US F1 race, Kyalami eyes return

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Miami is far from the only option being considered as Formula 1 pushes for a second Grand Prix in the USA.

The Floridian city was initially set to join the calendar back in 2019 but has faced a strew of delays and considerable opposition from locals, even after the original circuit location was moved.

But with continued uncertainty over whether the Miami plan will ever come to fruition, new F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has confirmed two alternatives are on the table.

“America is a work in progress,” said Domenicali, who took over as F1 CEO from Chase Carey last month.

“I cannot say today whether Las Vegas is better or worse [than Miami], to be honest. We are working very hard on that.

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“Indianapolis is also in the equation. That is why it is good we have a lot of elements, but it would be wrong and premature to say anything because otherwise, we create an expectation that we don’t want to create.

“I really hope we can give you a straight answer very soon. But no question, that is a focus. The objective will be to increase to two American races. That is really the target.”

Of course, Las Vegas has held twice F1 before, albeit on a track that makes Sochi looks like Spa in the car park of Caesars Palace.

And Indianapolis also hosted the US GP between 2000-2007, although that event is best-known for the notorious six-car race of 2005.

Elsewhere around the world, South Africa has pounced on recent comments both by Domenicali and Lewis Hamilton about F1 returning to the continent.

“It’s great that Lewis, a person as high-profile and influential as himself, has indicated his support for an African Grand Prix," Warren Scheckter, son of former F1 champion Jody and CEO of the SAGP project told RaceFans.

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“Obviously South Africa is the most likely place for that to happen, being a country that has a huge history in Formula 1. It had its own Formula 1 racing series back in the seventies, had a Formula 1 World Champion itself and as a country has quite a big following.

“Most importantly it has a race track that’s really ready to go, that’s very close to being F1 standard. If there was to be an African Grand Prix, South Africa and Kyalami is the most logical place it would happen.

“It’s great that Lewis is showing his support for an African Grand Prix. An African Grand Prix would be a huge boost for bringing diversity to the sport at all levels.”

Kyalami previously hosted F1 between 1967-1985 and again in 1992-93 and, as Scheckter noted, has recently been upgraded back to FIA Grade 2 standard with room to further improve up to the required Grade 1 for F1.

As for when South Africa could return to the calendar...

“The target date is still 2022 but that could shift due to the effects of the pandemic, so 2023 is maybe more likely,” Scheckter admitted.