F1 has not held a Grand Prix in Africa since 1958 at Ain-Diab in Casablanca, in Morroco and is now a regular Formula E fixture with a Marrakesh round. South Africa, not one to be left out hosted the African leg of the Grand Prix in 1993 at the Kyalami Race track in Midrand, north of Johannesburg of which were the last of 23 races.
South Africa and Morocco have been linked with F1 races before and history shows that the sport is nothing new on the continent as Liberty Media seeks to expand the Formula 1 calendar with a return to the African continent as a priority.
In a video of fan questions with Mercedes team partner Petronas, Hamilton was asked which location he would choose for a new F1 race and replied:
“Easy, Africa. “It’s such an important place to go back. At the moment Formula 1 goes to countries and doesn’t really leave much behind, if anything. F1 has to shift to being a sport that does go to places and leaves behind something that can really help the communities. I think bringing the attention back to Africa and really highlighting the beautiful place that it is, that’s the most important place we have to go to. It needs to be held where it’s not all about money. It’s about the people. In business, that’s not always the case. That’s something I’m really pushing for.”
A Johannesburg F1 fan festival was in the works for March of this year (2021) but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
South Africa’s last GP was held before the country abolished the policy of Apartheid, which was a system of strict racial segregation that protected power and control for a minority white population against a largely diverse multicultural majority in 1994. A race in Africa, more specifically South Africa, would be an opportunity for F1 and Hamilton to further amplify messages of equality and diversity, which has emerged as a key priority in recent times.
Hamilton has been a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, and he and the championship have independently set out their own initiatives to try to make Grand Prix racing more diverse. When asked about his biggest challenge this season Hamilton responded by saying "’m racing for all of you out there who don’t have a voice, make as big a noise as I can to try to affect change."
Content created and supplied by: TheCarGuy (via Opera News )