Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali has confirmed that the sport is currently in discussions with two or more countries on the African continent regarding the possibility of conducting a Grand Prix in 2023.
F1's lack of a race in Africa has come into focus in recent times. While the circus visits five of the six habitable continents, motorsport's flagship event has been absent from the African continent for close to 30 years now. F1 CEO Domenicali has stated that there are plans to remedy the current situation with a South African Grand Prix being touted as a prospect for the 2023 Formula 1 calendar.
"South Africa? They want to return, not for 2022 but we are in talks for 2023 or after that," Domenicali told Rai Radio 1.
"There are other possibilities in North Africa, along with other countries that are making a bid to be part of F1. This means that F1 is a platform that attracts a lot of attention, both in terms of sporting emotions and commercial benefits, which is a comforting sign given there are people that say it isn’t followed around the world."
While the promise of staging more races will surely entice the fans, it might create an added burden on those working within the sport. The 2021 F1 season is set to be the longest ever, though Domenicali has hinted at the possibility of having 25 Grand Prix weekends.
"In terms of our contract, we can expand to 25 races but I can say that isn’t a short-term goal," Domenicali said.
The Italian also elaborated on the challenges of conducting 23 races this year especially with the ongoing pandemic showing no signs of relenting.
"It’s clear that this year is even more complicated than last year given the different situations that we have to balance," Domenicali explained.
"The goal is to go ahead with the longest season in Formula 1 history. This is the goal, and the organisers and promoters want this to happen, but obviously there are limitations that we have to respect when it comes to the respective governments.
"We have to be ready at any moment to change things, but obviously we have alternative plans that we can put in place if we don’t have guarantees at certain deadlines as we need to manage a very complex logistical situation. However, the goal is to have a season with 23 races."