Bernie Ecclestone insists he is hopeful of South Africa making a return to the F1 calendar, with the possibility that a deal could be signed for a race in Cape Town within a matter of weeks.

F1 last raced on South African soil back in 1993 when Alain Prost won the final race run at Kyalami, although rumours have persisted for some time that the sport could return.

Although those rumours have failed to become anything more concrete, Ecclestone has now revealed that it could be a matter of weeks before a deal is done with the Cape Town Grand Prix South Africa group which would see the city secure a place on the calendar.

"I'm hoping we can make a decision as soon as our lawyers have a good look at them... within the next couple of weeks," he told Eyewitness News. "It'll be good to be back in South Africa. We were very happy when it was here in the past."

However, while Motorsport South Africa chairman George Nyabadza insisted that it would support any plans, it would only be on the condition that certain requirements were met.

"F1 enjoys very little support in countries where there is no representation," he was quoted by the South African Press Association. "Only when we can wave our rainbow flag will there be public interest and national unity.

"The MSA board's current position is that it would only support the hosting of such an event in South Africa if it provided concrete benefits to the grassroots development of motorsport, which would happen under the auspices of MSA."