The South African Grand Prix could be returning to Formula 1’s racing calendar as early as next year.
The venue for the race will remain the Kyalami race track which has hosted F1 races before.
According to sources, F1’s CEO Stefano Domenicali flew straight to South Africa from Baku, host of Sunday’s Azerbaijan GP, for talks over a potential return.
F1 has been considering adding a race in Africa as it is the only remaining continent to not have one with the seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton being one of the most vocal advocates of a race at Kyalami, situated north of Johannesburg.
The Kyalami track hosted F1 races between 1967 and 1985, and again in 1992 and 1993, and has recently had its infrastructure brought up to The FIA standards required to host a modern F1 race.
Although 2024 has always been seen as the most likely return point for the South African Grand Prix it is understood that F1 is now keen to secure the race for 2023 if possible.
If it indeed makes a comeback next year, F1 would officially hit the limit of 24 races outlined in the Conchord Agreement which binds all the teams to F1.
Kyalami would join the nascent Las Vegas Grand Prix, set to take place over Thanksgiving weekend, and the Qatar Grand Prix, which has signed a 10-year deal to host races.
The Chinese Grand Prix also has a contract to host a race in 2023 but its status remains shrouded in mystery due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With so many races on the way, some old tracks would have to make way.
Though not officially confirmed to be on the chopping block, the French Grand Prix looks unlikely to continue beyond this year’s event at Paul Ricard while the future of the popular Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps is also uncertain.