If you have been listening out for news on the potential chance of seeing Formula 1 in Cape Town in the not-so-distant future, we have some great news for you… the latest reports coming in during this week state that we may see F1 in Cape Town as early as 2017!
It goes without saying that there are many, many things that first need to happen in order for this truly exciting milestone to take place. Budgets need to be approved, planning needs to be approved and the various organisations and parties involved need to come up with a realistic plan. As we proved with the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Cape Town is pretty good at playing host. We certainly have the right infrastructure and ‘glam factor’ too. One can easily imagine watching F1 drivers take to the scenic bends and passes of our peninsula!
What exactly needs to happen for Formula 1 to come to Cape Town in 2017 though? Let’s take a closer look to see what all the big players have to say…
F1 in Cape Town: What We Can Expect
Igshaan Amlay, CEO of Cape Town Grand Prix South Africa, recently confirmed to local media that talks with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone have taken place in recent months. What is needed next is a proposal to the City of Cape Town’s tourism, events and marketing directorate, which are expected to happen in August this year. Says Igshaan, “We need to get our ducks in a row.”
In 1993, the South African Grand Prix took place at Kyalami. The last Grand Prix in Cape Town was all the way back in the 1960s. F1 boss Ernie Ecclestone has been very keen to bring the race back to South Africa for a number of years, and a Cape Town Grand Prix has been in discussion for as far back as 15 years. While no deals have been signed yet, there has been huge support so far from the City of Cape Town to bring F1 to the Mother City.
In 2013, the city turned down the F1 proposal because of their concerns about noise and costs. According to Amlay, this may no longer be the case. Speaking of their current attitudes, he said, “The city has changed the way it sees events; they are now a potential opportunity for investment. We are glad they have changed their mind.”
Where could the circuit be based, and what areas would be involved?
The initial bid proposed a circuit that would include the Cape Town Stadium in Green Point, with cars racing through the stadium. This route could include areas such as Beach Road and the Waterfront, which certainly have an F1-like appeal.
So, what is next then? For one thing, the City of Cape Town has to give the green light before the official bid can be considered by Formula One management. In an interview with the Cape Argus, Amlay said, “The City of Cape Town is a premier partner in this bid. We don’t want to put pressure on the city’s budget for events, and (we therefore plan to) do this by means of negotiating with local and foreign private investors or sponsors.”
Costs are projected to be around R400m to R500m for the set-up, with reduced costs once the first race was over and the focus changed to maintenance. Needless to say, costs are going to be a big factor in whether or not a bid can be made.
Garreth Bloor, city mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, confirmed that the city was open getting an F1 proposal, but was quick to add that, “Any proposal must go through the formal processes of council for consideration.”
So far, though, it all looks rather positive, don’t you think?
Would you support a bid to bring Formula One to Cape Town in 2017? Are you an F1 fan? Share your thoughts below – we’d love to hear from you!