NOVEMBER 25, 2001
No more F1 in Africa
IN August 1998, Bernie Ecclestone flew to South Africa to meet the country's then president Nelson Mandela. The two men discussed the possibility of there being a South African Grand Prix after which Ecclestone said that there would be a Grand Prix in South Africa "as soon as we have a slot open". Ecclestone said that would not be possible until 2001 but promised to send cars to test in both 1999 and 2000. He said there would be a race in 2001 if everything went to plan.
The slide in the value of the Rand against the Dollar meant that the race became impossible although there was an F1 test at Kyalami in 1999, 2000 and earlier this year. There will be no such test this winter and that would seem to end all hopes of an F1 race in southern Africa in the immediate future. There are a couple of North African governments mulling over the idea of bidding for a race but to date there are no concrete plans for F1 to return to the African continent.
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