Ex-Formula driver and multiple GP winner Juan Pablo Montoya has said that a deal to host a Grand Prix in his native Colombia was near completion before Madrid snubbed his country’s efforts.
Last year, rumours of a proposed Colombian GP began to emerge, set to be staged in Barranquilla on a semi-street circuit, in a similar fashion to several of the latest additions to the F1 calendar like Miami and the upcoming Las Vegas GP.
But Montoya has now gone on record to say that any such plans have been washed aside thanks to the emergence of a Grand Prix in the Spanish capital Madrid.
Speaking to Semana TV, the seven-time GP winner said: “About eight months ago it was 95 per cent done, but someone messed it up on something and I don’t know what.
“I went with the Formula 1 people to Barranquilla, we looked at the layout. Everything was done, the signature was missing and they were ready to sign. Maybe in 2028. They ended up giving the race to Madrid.”
Madrid has been rumoured to be in pole position to succeed the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as host for the Spanish GP, following the latter’s contract expiring in 2026.
Like Barranquilla’s, the Madrid proposal would be a street layout, an emerging trend on the Grand Prix calendar.
With the additions of venues such as Baku (2016), Saudi Arabia (2021), Miami (2022) and Vegas (2023) in recent years, the 23-race calendar currently includes seven street circuits.
Madrid’s proposed inclusion on the calendar at the expense of Barranquilla, would also mean that F1 has made a step to avoid expanding further into the South American region.
Currently, the Brazilian circuit Interlagos is the only South American venue on the F1 calendar, with Mexico City being the sole Central American venue.
Meanwhile, the addition of Miami and Vegas means the USA will hold three Grands Prix this year, for the first time since 1982 and F1’s presence in the Middle East has grown with the additions of the Qatar GP (returning this year after a debut in 2021) and Saudi Arabian GP.