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[EXCLUSIVE] Nico Rosberg calls on Johann Rupert to bring Formula 1 back to SA

Speaking to EWN Sport ahead of the Laureus Sports Awards, Nico Rosberg said South Africa is on top of the list of destinations where Formula 1 should return to.

FILE: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg celebrates at the end of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit on 27 November 2016. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Formula One champion Nico Rosberg on Monday said Formula 1 should return to the Kyalami Grand Prix circuit.

Speaking to EWN Sport ahead of the Laureus Sports Awards, Rosberg touched on the legacy that Kyalami has from his father Keke Rosberg’s time as a racing driver.

The German is a Laureus ambassador and won the Breakthrough of the Year Award after the 2016 Formula One season where he won ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

As an ambassador for Laureus, Rosberg believes in Nelson Mandela’s words that sport has the power to change the world.

“We know that (sport can change the world) because sport inspires generations and inspires a whole country. It has such an emotional power and strength, not only in the reach but also for the people involved.”

Rosberg spoke about the empowerment that comes with success.

“In developing countries where kids in Brazil play soccer and can aspire to be soccer legends from really anywhere in Brazil – even from very, very poor families and kids have managed to have success in soccer, so it gives people hopes and dreams as well which is very powerful”.

Asked about Formula 1 in South Africa, Rosberg said South Africa is on top of the list of destinations where Formula 1 should return to.

“For me, is like when people ask you where Formula 1 should go next and South Africa is top of the list. I’ve seen videos with my dad racing in the Kyalami days, they were all such big fans and I know South Africa has such a large fan base. I hope it’s possible someday.”

He also called on South African businessman Johann Rupert to invest in bringing motor racing to South Africa.

“I hope it’s possible some day. We would need someone like Johann Rupert – So Johann Rupert I’m reaching out to you now via the media, please support to make Formula 1 in South Africa happen. And if not, let’s make it a Formula E-race”.

The Laureus Sports Awards take place on Monday 18 February 2019 in Monaco.

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