South Africa vying to join F1 calendar in 2013

Monday 24th January 2011, 18:38  

South Africa could be the next country to join the ever expanding Formula One calendar in the near future.

The Cape Town Grand Prix Bid Company has been invited by Bernie Ecclestone to present their proposal for a race around the cities streets. The meeting is set to take place prior to the season opener in Bahrain at FOM's London offices.

The proposed 5.3km circuit will pass several of the cities landmarks, including Table Mountain, Lion's Head as well as unique feature which sees part of the track pass through the Cape Town Stadium.

The city could join the calendar as soon as September 2013 according to reports, with much of the track using existing roads.

Esther Henderson, the chief communications officer, compared the layout to that of Monaco.

"Green Point is ideal for a street circuit like the one in Monaco because we have so many beautiful natural sights in the area," he told Cape Argus. "So while Monaco is the ‘French Riviera’ we can have the ‘African Riviera’ in Cape Town."

Henderson also explained the reasoning behind a street-race, rather than a purpose built facility, was down to cost.

"Our initial estimates showed that building a track could cost as much as R4 billion (£355m) while upgrading existing infrastructure to FIA standard was estimated at a cost of about R100 million (£900,000)"

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