‘F1 needs a Grand Prix in Africa’

Formula 1 needs to have a Grand Prix in Africa and the absence of one is a mistake, according to F1’s global director of racing promotion Chloe Targett-Adams.

The continent has not been on the calendar since the last South African Grand Prix, held in Kyalami in 1993. Morocco also hosted a round of the world championship at the Casablanca circuit in 1958.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, the sport’s only black driver, said last year that racing in Africa was important for the sport.

“I completely agree with Lewis,” Targett-Adams said at the Black Book Motorsport virtual summit.

Africa is a continent in which we do not run and that is wrong. It is a place where we want to run. It is a priority. We have been in discussions with possible options for a few years and we hope that in the end we can get a career there in the short to medium term, ”he added.

Formula 1’s new CEO Stefano Domenicali told reporters last month that there was interest from the North and South Africa.

Targett-Adams said the sport is still hoping that Vietnam, whose inaugural race has been postponed for the second year in a row, can finally make its debut.

He hopes that Saudi Arabia, which makes its first appearance this year with a night race in Jeddah, will become a fixture for at least a decade.

That race has drawn criticism, with some campaigning organizations writing to Hamilton asking him to boycott the race or to speak out against allegations of human rights abuses in the country.

Targett-Adams said it was important to question the records of the countries the sport visited.

“From a Formula 1 point of view, we choose to collaborate with our partners and we have a contractual framework that sets out our human rights expectations and how we expect to work,” he added.

The partnership with the all-female W Series, which this season supports eight grands prix, has the ultimate goal of bringing a female driver onto the F1 grid for the first time since 1976 could be expanded.

“We are already talking to them about the possibility of expanding it into our 2022 season. So ultimately, I see W in more races with us,” he said.