F1 could return to Africa as ex-Ferrari legend behind plan to fulfil Lewis Hamilton dream

Since 1993, there hasn’t been a Formula 1 race in Africa. Zanzibar is hoping to host a Grand Prix, and Lewis Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, is eager to compete in the continent before retiring.

Former Ferrari driver Giancarlo Fisichella is supporting Zanzibar’s bid to host the first Formula 1 Grand Prix in Africa since 1993.

The Italian Consulate of Tanzania announced on Facebook that the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority intended to spend approximately €500 million (£426 million) on the construction of a custom circuit.

Additionally, it mentions that Fisichella is “in charge of supervising the technical part of the track” and that a signed agreement over the circuit’s location has been made. The plan is for the circuit to be completed by 2027, with construction scheduled to start in September 2025.

The circuit is expected to “bring Africa and Zanzibar onto the world stage of tourism and services,” according to the statement.

In recent years, there has been much talk about Formula One (F1) making a comeback to Africa. Jody Scheckter, a driver from South Africa, is involved in an effort to bring a Grand Prix back to the Kyalami circuit in Gauteng, which used to host the South African Grand Prix.

“I think it could have happened last year – my nephew had spent three years talking to government, getting everything in place and they were going to run it at Kyalami,” Scheckter said in an interview that was published earlier this month on the Formula For Success podcast.

“As I understand it, Formula 1 almost signed up there, but the Kyalami man said, ‘No, I want this much money and I want to do this and I want to do that.'” Furthermore, from what I understand, the government recoiled when it realized there would be conflict. It came “that close” to occurring.

Lewis Hamilton has expressed his strong wish for the sport to come back to Africa, and he stated at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November of last year that he is part of the current talks. He declared, “I’m working behind the scenes to get South Africa on the [calendar].”

“To me, that seems like a dream. I must remain until they obtain that race.” In the meantime, F1 chief Stefano Domenicali has stated that the team is “trying to find a solution for the best of the sport” in order to reinstate a Grand Prix in Africa.

He declared last year that “Africa is still a continent that we are working very hard on.” “We need to find the right partners and middle-term plan, as I have always stated. I don’t want to go there once a year and then forget about it. We are putting in effort to discover a solution for the best interests of the nation and the sport.”

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