Like many others who watched the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, I was disappointed to hear the FIA-approved news that Spa would host the 2023 leg once more. What exactly did this mean? Unfortunately, no agreement has been reached to host a Formula One race at Kyalami.
The reckless manner in which certain media went after clicks by announcing the race would take place on the basis of some half-baked frozen nuggets of information sparked an enormous hype train. A positive side effect is that we discovered that South Africans are eager for it. However, we will have to wait a little longer.
More information will be provided as it becomes available, but perhaps this was a blessing in disguise. Why? For starters, given the gravity of the logistics and planning involved in hosting an event of this magnitude, anything less than a flawless performance could knock us off the list for good, which we do not want. Consider the long term.
What’s the reason? As I previously stated, more details will be forthcoming, but what we do know is that an agreement could not be reached due to a slew of complexities behind the scenes to ensure Kyalami, Motorsport South Africa, F1 and the promoter all sing from the same hymn sheet. I mean, there’s a lot of money at stake here. It’s not a simple transaction like buying a loaf of bread at the supermarket.
One of the logistical challenges is getting the track to the required grade. Funding and time are required for track modifications such as the purchase of safety barriers and the construction of runoff rooms at several turns. Yes, how street circuits like Monaco and Baku get away with it is debatable, but let’s follow the rules and please the authorities.
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