Mar.10 (GMM) 1979 world champion Jody Scheckter says greed led to the demise of Africa’s return to the Formula 1 calendar.
Lewis Hamilton often bemoans the continent’s absence from the world championship schedule, and current champion Max Verstappen also insists the sport “needs” an African GP.
“We are basically on every other continent, so I do think that that’s the next step for Formula 1,” said the Dutchman.
The last African GP was at Kyalami, a suburb close to South Africa’s largest city Johannesburg, in 1993.
Scheckter’s nephew Warren was at the heart of negotiations to bring Kyalami back to the F1 calendar, with rumours reaching their zenith in summer 2022.
“I was an inside part of it,” Scheckter told Total-Motorsport.com. “My nephew worked on it for six years. It was that close.
“F1 came over to sign. He had got government backing, some of the wealthiest people in South Africa behind it. Everything was in place, and the guy from Kyalami got greedy.
“He went from 500,000 to 2 million, and he wanted to take the whole thing over. Just as soon as F1 left, he changed the whole thing completely.
“The government realised there was a fight and withdrew, and that was the end.”