F1 »

Cape Town F1 bid 'needs impact assessment'

Tourism officials claim 'full impact assessment' needed before talks can begin on return F1 to South Africa.
The ambitious bid to take the F1 circus back to South Africa and stage a race around the streets of Cape Town has received its first opposition within days of making its plans public.

Even as the Cape Town Grand Prix Bid Company works on a meeting with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, the local tourism authority has warned that a full impact assessment needs to be carried out before anything is agreed. The bidding group - one of four apparently interested in staging a race in and around the Cape Town area - has already set its sights on a 2013 calendar slot, and insists that a street circuit would be both a quicker and cheaper option than constructing a new road course facility.
Six races on an already crowded calendar are due to have their contracts expire after the 2012 race, although Abu Dhabi, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany and Singapore all appear to be firm favourites among drivers and fans.

Igshaan Amlay, who has been working on his dream for almost 15 years, is the first to have reached the stage of being able to present plans to Ecclestone, despite Cape Town having frequently cropped up as a potential addition to the F1 calendar. Amlay proposes a 5.3km circuit taking in landmarks such as the Table Mountain, Cape Town Stadium, Table Bay Harbour and the V&A Waterfront, while Esther Henderson, Cape Town Grand Prix Bid Company's chief communications officer, said the oceanside route had been modelled on the Monaco Grand Prix.

However, despite Henderson also claiming that the bid had received input from the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape provincial government, Motorsport South Africa, and Cape Town Tourism, amongst others, the chief executive of the latter, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, has warned that there needs to be careful consideration of the impact that a grand prix would have, both on the city and the environment.

"All new events must be reviewed in the context of Cape Town's broader social and tourism context, and of how they can be sustained in the long term,” she told the local Cape Argus newspaper shortly after revealing that the city's beach had been voted the second best in the world, "[Stakeholders should] think carefully before a final decision can be made, especially in the light of Cape Town's focus on responsible tourism.”

By way of concession, however, du Toit-Helmbold did admit that the proposal to stage the race in September would be ideal as Cape Town usually suffers a drop in tourism numbers at that time of year.

Amlay, a former political prisoner as the result of taking part in a student protest against apartheid, said that he had been in contact with Ecclestone's FOM office since late 2009, and hoped to meet with the Briton around the time the 2011 season kicks off in Bahrain.

"We have made significant progress with Mr. Ecclestone, and we have an invitation from his office," Henderson confirmed to Associated Press on Wednesday, "Back in 2009, his office said he would like to meet with us but, unfortunately, our national government was focused on the World Cup. But, the 2010 World Cup has now allowed Mr Ecclestone to evaluate a major event in South Africa and we hope to secure a meeting with him before the grand prix season."

None of the four bids to stage a race in Cape Town have received official backing from either the city or the Western Cape provincial government, but Amlay hopes that his plan to use the city's landmarks and 'full utilisation of the Cape Town Stadium' will help to sway support in his direction. The $600m stadium, owned and run by the city of Cape Town following its construction for the World Cup, is seriously under-used following the tournament, and is being tabbed as a potential start-finish arena for the grand prix.

"There's lots to be done and it's still early days," provincial tourism minister Alan Winde admitted, "but [an F1 race] fits in with our strategy of attracting major events to the city."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
The South African flag
Clay Regazzoni (CH), Albilad-Saudia Racing Williams FW06, leads Niki Lauda (AUT), Parmalat Brabham BT48, with Jody Scheckter (ZA), Scuderia Ferrari 312T4, closing fast. South African Grand Prix, 03/03/1979, Kyalami, South Africa.
1993 Formula One World Championship. South African Grand Prix. Mark Blundell celebrates his third place finish.
Cape Town Grand Prix route being proposed by a local bid company aiming for September 2013 date   [pic credit: Bruce Sutherland/Graphic: Bob Grierson]
25.06.2017 - Fabiana Flosi (BRA), Wife of Bernie Ecclestone
25.06.2017 - Fabiana Flosi (BRA), Wife of Bernie Ecclestone
25.06.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
25.06.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
25.06.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and his wife Fabiana Flosi (BRA)
25.06.2017 - Fabiana Flosi (BRA), Wife of Bernie Ecclestone
25.06.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Flavio Briatore (ITA)
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Flavio Briatore (ITA)
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 1, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
26.05.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and his wife Fabiana Flosi (BRA)
26.05.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and his wife Fabiana Flosi (BRA)
26.05.2017 - Fabiana Flosi (BRA), Wife of Bernie Ecclestone, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Piero Ferrari (ITA) Vice-President Ferrari
26.05.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Kiko - Unregistered

January 27, 2011 10:32 AM

"although Abu Dhabi, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany and Singapore all appear to be firm favourites among drivers and fans." I think the author and editor should be sacked as this is a massive lie. I am yet to see any proof that Abu Dhabi and Singapore are fan favourites. Belgium, Brazil, Canada and Germany however ARE fan favourites, and the most likely to get dropped.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.