Kyalami F1 update: No deal confirmed yet, wheels in motion

From apparent rumours, 2023 seems unlikely due in part to the nature of the upgrades needed to obtain an FIA Grade 1 rating. Here's what you need to know.

The signing of the much-speculated deal to bring Kyalami F1 back to South Africa has reportedly not occurred as claimed on social media.

According to the source of the claim – motoring forum Motor Magnet – the high-level meeting between F1 President Stefano Domenicali and Kyalami owner Toby Venter allegedly didn’t involve the signing of an agreement.

Instead, they discussed “steps” to bring the sport back to South Africa.

In a tweet, the forum remarked, “Received confirmation from representatives that no deal has been signed, but steps are being taken to put the #KyalamiGP together soon”.

On Tuesday, the site tweeted there was a signed agreement that would see F1 return to Kyalami for the first since 1993; a race won by Williams’ Alain Prost from Ayrton Senna (McLaren) and Mark Blundell (Ligier).

Despite claims hinting at a return next year after three decades, the site states that 2024 appears more likely to afford more time, should the go-ahead be given, to implement the various upgrades needed to obtain a level 1 FIA grading.

Currently, the level 2 rating allows Kyalami to host all motorsport disciplines, bar Formula 1, with the current international showpiece being the annual 9-Hour endurance race that forms part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

ALSO READ: F1 returning to South Africa? Report claims Kyalami deal signed

In a subsequent confirmation of the agreement not being signed, the Double Apex website quoted SAGP CEO Warren Scheckter saying that “several deals need to be formalised” before the red lights turn green.

“An F1 race in SA has not yet been confirmed. There are many things that need to take place before we can make a formal announcement,” Scheckter said.

“We have read plenty of posts recently with all sorts of speculation about the event, but we are still a while away from being able to share any confirmation”.

While an official announcement remains outstanding, don’t be surprised if more rumours emerge over the coming weeks and months.

The full interview can be read here.

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