F1 set for 2016 South Africa return

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Published: Wednesday 21st January 2015 by The News Editor

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Formula One’s long-awaited return to South Africa has taken a step closer to coming to fruition.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone confirmed last month he was “in the middle of trying to do something in South Africa”, with the race last on the calendar in 1993.

Press Association Sport has learned Anthony Hamilton, father of two-time F1 world champion Lewis, has been working on a plan for the past year to bring the grand prix back to the country.

Africa is the only inhabited continent without a Formula One race, and it would represent an historic achievement should an event again take place in South Africa.

Ecclestone is currently in the process of proposing terms for the country to again figure on the schedule, hopefully from 2016, and significantly with Cape Town the venue.

Speaking to Press Association Sport, Ecclestone said: “I’ve been looking to go back to South Africa for a long time, and now we have a good chance.

“They’re getting on with it. We’re hoping to be back in 2016, but we will have a look and see. We’ll see how we get on.”

F1 has long been associated with a potential return to South Africa, although this would be Cape Town’s first foray into the sport.

The race was previously held in East London in 1962, 1963 and 1965 before moving to Kyalami – 20 miles north of Johannesburg – from 1967-1980 and 1982-1985, and again in 1992 and 1993.

Should the race go ahead, and with Azerbaijan also scheduled to make its debut next year, there is the prospect of a record-breaking 22-race calendar on the cards for 2016.

At present 20 races stands as the most in one year, as was the case in 2012, and again for this year.

Published: Wednesday 21st January 2015 by The News Editor

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