Stefano Domenicali denies Lewis Hamilton’s wish, again

The South African Grand Prix will be absent for 30 years in 2023.

There was much excitement around the possible return of the South African Grand Prix next year, but those have been curtailed in light of the announcement of the 2023 calendar.

For the first time in Formula 1’s history, there will be 24 races on the calendar next year, nine of which will be in continental Europe, but none in Africa.

South Africa and Morocco are the only two African nations to host an F1 race, with the latter holding one in 1958, while the former saw 23 races in Midrand.

The last of those took place in 1993, with Alain Prost taking the win for Williams, but the Kyalami Circuit has not been seen since.

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The race was occasionally shrouded in controversy due to the apartheid system that ran from the late 1940s to the early 1990s, and James Hunt would often publicly criticise the regime while live on air with the BBC.

Now though, the chance beckons for a new era of F1 in South Africa to emerge, but that will not happen this year.

The facilities at the Kyalami Circuit have not seen many upgrades since the 1990s, and it is no longer a Grade One listed circuit.

The FIA will only allow racetracks of that calibre to host F1 grand prix, so it will be at least another year until the circuit and its facilities are ready.

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That, ultimately, was the reason negotiations broke down regarding a race in South Africa for 2023, and it is thought to be the reason that Spa Francorchamps has retained its place for another year.

Sir Lewis Hamilton has previously expressed his strong interest in Formula 1 returning to Africa.

China and Qatar have returned to the calendar for next season, while Vegas will host the only Saturday night race of the season in November.

The season begins in Bahrain in March, and ends in Abu Dhabi just before December.