Lewis Hamilton dream edges closer after 29-year wait as F1 and FIA delegates ‘fly out’

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LEWIS HAMILTON wants to see a Grand Prix hosted in Africa in the not-too-distant future.

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Lewis Hamilton could soon be granted his wish of a South African Grand Prix in the not-too-distant future, with an FIA delegation having reportedly travelled to the country for talks over the possibility of an event at Kyalami earlier this week. The sport has not stopped off in South Africa for almost 30 years but it seems as though a return to the calendar could soon be on the cards if things go well over the next few days.

Reports earlier this year suggested that F1 bosses were on the verge of signing a deal to host a race at Kyalami, which has not been included on the Grand Prix schedule since 1993. The process finally appears to be speeding up ahead of next season, though, with F1 and FIA representatives already having flown over to explore the possibility of a South African race being reinstated, according to RacingNews365.

It is said that two delegations jetted out on Monday and are expected to run the rule over Kyalami’s suitability for a Grade 1 licence over the course of this week. The circuit is currently at Grade 2 standard and will reportedly need a handful of improvements to be made in order to host F1 races in accordance with the FIA’s strict rules and regulations.

Changes to run-off areas are set to be implemented over the coming months, while a number of corners will need to be revised to accommodate a Grand Prix event. Team garage access is also too restricted by the FIA’s standards and the medical heliport will also have to be relocated away from the paddock in order to achieve Grade 1 certification in the near future.

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Lewis Hamilton dream edges closer after 29-year wait as F1 and FIA delegates 'fly out'

Lewis Hamilton wants to see South Africa return to the F1 calendar (Image: GETTY)

The total cost of the work required at Kyalami is not expected to exceed £5million, although time constraints may pose a number of issues regarding the staging of a South African Grand Prix next year. Organisers are said to be targeting an April date, which would give them just nine months to make the necessary changes to the circuit.

It remains to be seen whether Kyalami will eventually return to the F1 calendar in 2023 if the FIA decide to give the green light while in South Africa this week. Hamilton has already underlined his desire to see the Grand Prix reinstated after a 29-year absence to ensure that F1 is represented in Africa once again.

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Lewis Hamilton dream edges closer after 29-year wait as F1 and FIA delegates 'fly out'

Kyalami has not held a Grand Prix event for 29 years (Image: EXPRESS)

“The one I really want to see is South Africa,” Hamilton told reporters earlier this year. “That’s the one I want to hear next, that gets announced.

“We’re pretty much on every other continent, so why not? And ultimately, my ancestors are from there so that’s why it is important for me personally.

“I think it’s important for the sport to go there. If they’re in every other continent, why not?”

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