F1: Apparent Kyalami 2023 return provides more confusion than clarity

Conflicting reports claim South Africa has been removed from the 2023 calendar, while another claims a deal worth five years has been inked.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding South Africa’s inclusion on next year’s Formula 1 calendar has taken another unexpected twist with the alleged signing of a five year deal starting from next year.

Last week, Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, reported that Kyalami had been included on the provisional list that would see Formula 1 return to South Africa for the first time since 1993.

Overnight, social media erupted into a frenzy after Sage Hou – an F1 journalist/Insider as per his Twitter bio – claims Formula 1’s logistics partner, DHL, had helped with the apparent approval that would see the series stay at the Midrand circuit until 2028.

ALSO READ: Formula 1: Kyalami added to 2023 provisional Grand Prix calendar

The tweet didn’t name where the confirmation came from, merely stating that it was provided by “insider sources”.

Not long after, the F1 Paddock Insider forum stated the same, again without official confirmation.

In addition, speculation has remained high after Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, in a feature with teammate Max Verstappen, mentioned that South Africa “is coming, hopefully,” when asked where they would like to race where F1 hasn’t been in recent times.

Verstappen reassuringly replied “South Africa”.

In what many believed was a slip of the tongue, Perez confirmed Kyalami’s inclusion, which consequently saw many fans taking to social media to voice their excitement at the apparent confirmation.

In a post earlier today though, online forum Motor Magnet – who last month published pictures of F1 boss Stefano Domenicali with track owner Toby Venter – tweeted: “Fake news. The #KyalamiGP x DHL rumours surfaced months ago and are indeed untrue.”

“Representatives of the @Kyalami_Circuit have confirmed with me this morning that no deal has been signed yet”, Motor Magnet concluded.

Throwing another spanner in the works is the alleged uncovering of next year’s calendar, which now makes no reference to Kyalami.

The calendar, instead, names China on the roster in place of South Africa’s rumoured March slot.

Additional claims have also emerged of a possible confirmation later this week, though Kyalami and Formula 1 have both remained mum in spite of the mounting reports.

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