World champion racing driver Lewis Hamilton is leading calls for Formula One to return to Africa. Hamilton, who stormed to victory in the championship in 2015, says the continent should be given a chance to host a Grand Prix if a spot becomes available. The sport is looking for new stops on the circuit and Hamilton has no doubts about where his vote would go.
He told the BBC: “I would love it to be in South Africa. They are great sporting fans and are just petrolheads who love cars. I would love to go there, it would be absolutely insane. There is a huge following there and it is one of the most important Grand Prix we need to get on the calendar.”
In fact, South Africa first staged a Grand Prix in 1934 and joined the official circuit in 1962, staging 23 races in all, in East London. One hasn’t been held there since 1993.
Now Hamilton, who became the first black F1 driver in 2007 and who has won three world titles, says a return is long overdue.
South Africa’s coach at the Rugby World Cup has backed his team to star at the next finals in 2019 after finishing third in England. Now, despite his disappointment at not winning the tournament, Heyneke Meyer says there is hope for the future – including in Japan in four years’ time.
“The players that represented our team could still be there for the next World Cup. But it’s not just about the World Cups. I really believe this team can go places. So many youngsters have come through in all positions that I believe this could be one of the best teams in the world going forward.”
South Africa’s women’s football team – Banyana Banyana – have qualified for the 2016 Olympics in Rio and set themselves a target of reaching the knockout stage. The team secured a place in the Games by beating Equatorial Guinea 1-0, and captain Janine Van Wyk has vowed to do better than they did in London 2012, when the side went home early.
One-to-one with Divock Origi
Liverpool striker Divock Origi is set to make a big impact on the English Premier League – making Kenyans proud. The 20-year-old may be a Belgian international but his father Mike was a Kenyan legend, winning 120 caps for the Harambee Stars in a fifteen-year international career. Now his son is following in his footsteps…
• So, Divock, it’s exciting times for you at Anfield?
Yes, the new manager Jurgen Klopp has been very good and has included me in his team. He is an inspirational character – mentally he is very strong and knows how to motivate the group, and it is nice to have someone with this positive energy to look up to. He just tells me to play my game.
• What part has your dad played in your career?
He’s a very important person in my career. He was a good player too – though we are not similar in style. And he brought me up to speak English at home, which is a big help now.
• You grew up in Belgium?
Yes, that’s right – because that’s where my father was playing his football. He gave me lots of advice, especially not to take anything for granted. In football you can easily lapse into complacency when things are going well. I won’t let that happen.