Kyalami has had a major rebuild and is now just one grade short of F1 status. File Photo: Kyalami.

London - one of the first things new Formula one boss Chase Carey hinted at when taking office just a week ago, was Liberty Media’s intention of expanding the sport.

The rumour mill has already begun revving up with speculation about a possible street circuit in London (a great city, says Chase) and a second race in the United States, possibly either the abandoned Port Imperial street circuit in New York, the successful Las Vegas street circuit, a return to Long Beach, or even Miami or Los Angeles.

Sky News promptly set up an online poll* so that fans could vote for the circuit of their choice to be added to the Formula One calendar - and the results so far will surprise you.

Right on top with 14 000 votes is the former Grand Prix circuit at Zandvoort in the Netherlands - possibly due to increased interest in F1 thanks to Dutch teenager Max Verstappen. The circuit hasn’t hosted an F1 race since 1985 and would probably need a lot of work, but the owner has hinted at a return to the Grand Prix calendar in 2020.

But the big surprise is...

Second, with 13 000 votes, is London - which would be a difficult and expensive place to stage a Grand Prix, but the fan interest, and the television ratings, would be enormous.

The big surprise, however, is in third place with 11 000 votes: the newly-rebuilt Kyalami. Although the Midrand circuit hasn’t hosted a Grand Prix since 1993, it has recently undergone a major refurbishment and is now rated just one grade below Formula One status.

Maybe circuit owner Toby Venter should reconsider his decision not to apply for F1 status - and maybe South African Formula One fans should be putting their mouse behind their mouth. So get your friends and family, your boss and your granny to add their clicks to the total, and maybe, just maybe, that oft-derided pipe-dream of a new-millennium South African F1 Grand Prix could just come true.

The rest of the top 10, all well down in the voting, are Las Vegas (7900 votes), New York (6100), Brands Hatch (3700), Miami (3300), Hong Kong (2900), Argentina (2700) - either a street circuit in Buenos Aires or the MotoGP venue at Termas de Rio Hondo - and Los Angeles (2600), although that could mean either Formula One cars on Rodeo Drive or a return to the less glamourous but well-established Long Beach circuit.

And just to whet your appetite, here are the dramatic final five laps of the 1993 South African F1 Grand Prix.

* If your browser doesn't support our hotlink, go to www.skysports.com/f1/news/12433/10743562/vote-pick-your-dream-new-gp

IOL Motoring

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