South Africa has been chosen by Max Verstappen as the next frontier where Formula 1 should expand.
The World Champion may achieve his dream because it’s almost become common knowledge in Formula One that South Africa will be making a comeback, possibly as soon as next year.
The South African Grand Prix had previously been held in Kyalami from 1967 to 1985, as well as twice more in 1992 and 1993, before disappearing off the calendar for nearly 30 years.
Both Verstappen and his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez voiced optimism that South Africa would return to the schedule during an interview with LADbible, with the Mexican even joking: “It’s coming.”
Verstappen responded, “When you look at the continents where you race, I believe we absolutely need to try and explore a bit further into Africa,” when asked why he was specifically in favor of South Africa.
Due to the fact that South Africa already has a track and that Formula One has visited there before, it currently appears that this is the most likely destination.
While China may return for the first time since 2019 and South Africa and Las Vegas appear to be the new entrants to the 2023 calendar, a few locations may have to be dropped, at least temporarily.
The Grands Prix in Belgium and France seem to be the most in jeopardy, though Monaco may also be in question – not that Verstappen would be in favor of that.
The Dutchman, who resides in Monaco, has already stated that he wants Formula 1 to continue to include the sport’s “jewel in the crown.”
This time, it was Perez who made the case for the defense and for Monaco to remain on the schedule when he triumphed in Monte Carlo this year, 12 months after Verstappen had achieved the same feat for Red Bull.
Monaco is no more, declared Perez. Apart from your local grand prix, I believe many of us grew up watching the race in Monaco on television. It is the most special race you can ever compete in. If Monaco is the only location where you can imagine yourself racing or driving, then our sport has a pure heritage there.
Verstappen and Perez, who are now first and third in the Driver standings and give Red Bull a 56-point advantage over Ferrari in the Constructors’ standings, will be aiming for victory at the French Grand Prix.