Naomi Schiff is eager to see Formula 1 return to Africa and believes it will help fans feel included and considered in the sport.
The World Championship is popular all around the globe, but Africa has not hosted a Grand Prix for 30 years.
Only two African locations have featured on the calendar in F1’s 73-year history — Morocco and South Africa.
The last event on the continent was the 1993 South African Grand Prix, but Stefano Domenicali has stressed it is a “very clear target” to return in the near future.
Will there be another African Grand Prix?
Schiff spoke to GIVEMESPORT about the importance of reintroducing an African track to the calendar.
“I think it’s incredibly important [to have another race in Africa]. I understand there are a couple of challenges and setbacks that stopped us from being able to have the Grand Prix in South Africa and I guess Formula 1 is just in such an incredible space right now.
“There are so many locations across the world that are willing to pay top dollar to host Formula 1, so we can’t forget that it is a business.
“But I guess from my perspective, if you’re calling yourself a World Championship, you should at least touch base on every continent, and Africa is the only continent we haven’t had a race on in ages, so maybe F1 should consider taking one for the team.”
While it is certainly something the majority are pushing for, Domenicali is keen to ensure all the correct pieces are in place before this can happen, including having the right financial assets.
“It would be wrong to go there one year and then disappear if the conditions aren’t done properly,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s a matter of having the right financial assets, but also having the site ready for the weekend that we want to host in that place.”
Despite the obvious choice of returning to the Kyalami circuit in Gauteng, other African locations are also on the radar and have shown interest in hosting F1.
Indeed, due to the growing popularity of motorsport over the years — and with the Drive to Survive series becoming a huge global hit — more fans want to watch races live, and more countries want to be added to the race calendar.
Schiff spoke about the huge support in Africa and she feels as though there are a lot of supporters who have been forgotten about since the last South African Grand Prix three decades ago.
Lewis Hamilton has also been vocal about his hopes of racing in Africa and revealed he has been “pushing a lot in the background” to help make it happen.
“There are so many fans in South Africa and across the continent. I can only speak for the countries that I’ve been to — Rwanda, South Africa, Mozambique, even Zimbabwe — there are so many Formula 1 racing fans that I still feel are neglected,” Schiff said.
“And Africa is a huge continent, so even one race wouldn’t be making a huge mark, but it definitely would be a big deal.
“Whichever country you are in on the continent, I think people would feel considered, so I think it’d be important for them to try to make that happen in some shape or form.”