Formula One has confirmed that an expansion into the African market is a target for future seasons, the first time the motorsports series has done so since 1993.
South Africa hosted the 1993 series, taking place at the Kyalami circuit, which was itself constructed to host the 1967 South African Grand Prix.
“Africa is a continent that we don’t race in, and that is just wrong,” said Chloe Targett-Adams, Global Director of Race Promotion at Formula One.
“It’s somewhere that we very much want, it’s the priority. We’ve been in talks with possible options for a few years. We’re hoping that, ultimately, we will be able to achieve a race there in the near to mid-term.”
Morocco has also acted as host of Grand Prixs early on in the tournament’s history, with the latest event to take place in the country occurring in 1958 at the Ain-Diab road circuit, although Marrakesh has hosted Formula E from 2016 onwards.
Targett-Adams also identified Asia as a potential market, stating: “Equally Asia, we’ve made no secret of the fact that that also is a key priority. Vietnam is an incredibly exciting race location for F1 [with a] hugely young demographic in the country, vibrant business sector, somewhere we’re very, very excited to race.
“2020 was to be the first race, with an amazing circuit built in the outskirts of Hanoi. And then, totally understandably, no one wants to launch a first race in the middle of a pandemic.
“We’re working through some localised issues with some change in government going on as well, so we just decided and agreed with our promoter, Vingroup, that 2021 just wasn’t the right timing for that.
“So we continue to work through with them, and longer term, we’d obviously still relish the opportunity to have a race in Vietnam. So we’re hoping we’ll get there eventually.”
Additionally, a range of Formula One teams have enhanced their sponsorship portfolios ahead of the upcoming 2021 season.
Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Red Bull Racing have all signed new sponsorship deals, with the latter forging a partnership with international telecommunications firm América Móvil.
As América Móvil is the parent company of A1, Claro, Infinium and Telcel, the racing team will benefit from an enhanced media presence across 25 different markets in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the US.
Alfa Romeo, meanwhile, has named Zadara as its official cloud sponsor. The firm will deliver cloud services to the Sauber Motorsport-owned team and work to enhance its data analysis abilities. In exchange, the company’s logo will be visible on the team’s car throughout all tournaments.