Ben Sulayem Discusses Potential of F1 in South Africa

South Africa has been suggested as a potential venue for a future Grand Prix, with the Kyalami Circuit being a possible location, and the FIA is working to grow motorsport in Africa from the grassroots level, according to FIA President Mohamed Ben Sulayem.


‣ South Africa has been mentioned as a potential new venue for a Grand Prix, possibly at the Kyalami Circuit, but is not included in the Formula 1 calendar for 2024.
‣ Mohamed Ben Sulayem of believes there should be more focus on Africa in motorsport, and the FIA is working to strengthen local clubs in the region.
‣ The FIA has launched ‘Motorsport in a Box’, a grassroots initiative that provides simple equipment for speed tests to encourage participation in motorsport.
‣ South Africa, with its rich history in motorsport, is considered a viable option for top-class motorsport, and there are discussions about Formula 1 returning to Kyalami and the potential for an electric championship in Africa.

South Africa’s name has been tossed around as a potential Grand Prix venue. The Kyalami Circuit could be the spot. But, alas, no South Africa on the 2024 Formula 1 calendar. So, will Formula 1 ever make its way to Africa?

Mohamed Ben Sulayem of was asked this very question. His response? “We’ve got solid connections in Africa. We need to focus more on this continent. We’ve got a great vice-president there. We’re boosting local clubs.”

In some areas, they’re starting from scratch. They’ve got this thing they call ‘Motorsport in a Box’. It’s a box from the FIA. It’s got basic gear like timing equipment and phones. Enough to run speed tests, at least.

The FIA president added, growth doesn’t come from the top. “I can’t just issue orders. Water doesn’t flow uphill. It’s the other way around. You’ve got to start at the bottom.” That’s why they’ve launched ‘Motorsport in a Box’. They’re sending it out, getting people involved in motorsport.


But what about Formula 1 and Africa’s potential? Ben Sualyem danced around the topic for a bit. He did agree, though, that South Africa could be a contender for top-tier motorsport. “South Africa has a rich motorsport history. There’s been chatter about Formula 1 returning to Kyalami since last year. That’d be a big deal for Africa. We’re also considering an electric championship. Africa wants in. That’d be good too,” he wrapped up his chat with the German outlet.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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