NAIROBI, Kenya, September 5 – Formula One Supremo Bernie Ecclestone has launched a bid to have a Formula One Grand Prix in Africa.The billionaire sports entrepreneur, who is also president and CEO of Formula One Management, has already appointed an African representative Surinder Thatthi to thrash out plans for a possible venue.
Thatthi told Capital Sport that Ecclestone has directed that the deal be finalized in good time to enter the venue in the next competition.
“Mr Ecclestone is not a very young, and trust me he wants his dreams accomplished very soon,” said Surrinder.
Mr. Thatthi is part of the 12 member FIA World Motor Sports Council and is credited with the revival of the Kenyan Motor Sports.
As a representative for the formula one supremo, Thatthi will be involved in high level discussions with interested African governments to strike a deal.
Thatthi has meanwhile intimated that he is in talks with Botswana, who he described as a country that is willing to venture into motor sports, and possibly have the money to invest.
“We have to look for countries that can afford it; here is a country (Botswana) they don’t have a population but the Government says it wants to invest in Formula One,” he said
Ecclestone has recently been involved in a tussle of sorts with Formula One teams over his budget cap proposal.
The teams had threatened to ditch the sport and form a parallel circuit, if the Briton insisted on the budget cap.
The controversy was quelled with a ‘Concorde agreement’ that allowed, teams to have a choice between the freedom to spend what they choose but within the confines of existing technical constraints, or adherence to a budget cap of £30m that allows a degree of technical freedom.
For now it remains to be seen whether the Thatthi can pull the most difficult of jobs so far and bring to the continent one of the most expensive sports.