Would it be a good site for a grand prix? South Africa has a somewhat faded tradition in motorsports, certainly.
Well, local motorsports leaders are sounding a cautious note about the possibility. Here’s Autosport:
South African motorsport’s governing body would only support a bid to host a grand prix on the provision that part of the proceeds would be channeled in to the development of the country’s racing infrastructure and help promote young and underprivileged home-grown talent.
Following on from the country’s successful hosting of the World Cup this summer, the South African Motorsport association indicated that it was incumbant on F1’s stakeholders to follow FIFA’s example and help build up the grass roots infrastructure of the sport.
George Nyabadza, the chairman of the country’s motorsport body Motorsport South Africa, said that while he supported the idea in principal, he needed to see tangible benefits.
“F1 enjoys very little support in countries where there is no representation,” he said. “Only when we can wave our rainbow flag will there be public interest and national unity.”
Nyabadza said he wanted to see very clear provisions of how much money would be generated for motorsport development, particularly in the female segment and the black youth segments of South Africa: “It would be irresponsible,” he said, “to host an F1 race and not have the stakeholders invest a portion of the proceeds in these segments.
“There would be no legacy for the sport.”
Nyabadza added that the government would need to conduct an economic impact study to weigh up the benefits against the ‘substantial costs’ involved.
It sounds like these folks are too smart to play Bernie’s usual game. That probably disqualifies them right off.
But still: Would South Africa be a good place for F1 to add?