Formula One to Revisit South Africa, May Struggle for Exposure in America

December 19, 2011

Formula One recent expansion is set to continue after Bernie Ecclestone, the president and CEO of Formula One Management revealed the sport will return to South Africa by 2013.

The last South African Grand Prix was held in 1993, when Alain Prost secured victory at Kyalami. It would mark another step in the sport’s global expansion, with venues such as China, Abu Dhabi, India and Singapore either returning to the calendar or appearing for the first time in recent years.

A Grand Prix in Sochi is also expected from 2014, the year that the Russian city hosts the Olympic Winter Games, while Bahrain is also expected to return to the schedule following the cancellation of the race this year.

The USA, though, is proving slightly more challenging for Ecclestone and his team, despite races planned for both Texas and New Jersey.

“Formula One will not be big in America. But Formula One will be in Russia for 2014, and in South Africa by 2013 even,” Ecclestone told Al Jazeera English.

“We’ve got a maximum of two races in America and when you consider the country is as big as Europe and we’ve got several races in Europe, it’s difficult. If we had a lot more races there and a lot more television it would be okay,”

“The USA has been slow to get F1 because they want to see a profit before they start,” he added.