The possibility of the Caribbean Grand Prix has been a topic of discussion among motorsports enthusiasts for several years.
In October 2022, Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali visited Barranquilla, a city on the western bank of the Rio Magdalena in northern Colombia, to discuss the possibility of holding a semi-urban circuit Grand Prix in the area.
The mayor of Barranquilla said that the city was willing to commit to a ten-year deal to host the Caribbean Grand Prix, starting in 2024 or 2025.
Plans derailed by Madrid’s bid
The Colombian bid for the Caribbean Grand Prix was progressing smoothly until Madrid’s bid to host a Grand Prix disrupted the plans.
Former Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya revealed that the Caribbean Grand Prix project was almost finalized before Madrid’s bid came to the forefront, leading to the project’s failure.
“Around eight months ago, it was 95% done, but someone messed up, and I don’t know what,Perhaps, in the future, people will think that it was just an empty shell, which is ridiculous. I went with the Formula 1 people to Barranquilla, we looked at the layout, everything was done. They only needed the signature, and they were ready to sign. Maybe in 2028, but they will eventually give the race to Madrid.”Montoya – Semana TV
Madrid’s interest in hosting a Grand Prix
Madrid’s interest in hosting a Formula 1 Grand Prix has been known for a while. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya’s contract expires in 2026, and there are rumors that the Spanish capital is the front-runner to replace it. Madrid’s proposal, like Barranquilla’s, is a semi-urban circuit.
The Madrid government formally expressed its interest in hosting a Grand Prix in a letter to Stefano Domenicali in June 2022. “It is a pleasure to write to you on behalf of the Government of the Community of Madrid to express our interest in developing a Formula 1 Grand Prix in Madrid,” the letter read. “As you may be aware, the Community of Madrid is experiencing exceptional economic and social development in the Spanish and European context. We are receiving more and more visitors from all over the world, and sports competitions in the Community of Madrid are becoming more prestigious and appreciated.”
If Formula 1 ever comes to Madrid in the future, the Jarama permanent circuit, located north of the city, is unlikely to be selected. Instead, the sport might opt for an urban race around the IFEMA convention center, which will host the first-ever Formula 1 exhibition since March 2023.