Formula 1 mulling Caribbean Grand Prix

Colombia is potentially set to join the Formula 1 calendar, with an event being planned in Barranquilla.

Formula 1 journalist Joe Saward has indicated that the pinnacle of motorsport may have plans to hold a race in Colombia in the not-too-distant future.

F1 has visited four Latin-American countries over the years, comprising of Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Cuba – at the former of which Juan Manuel Fangio was famously kidnapped in 1958.

Saward previously revealed his belief that Saudi Arabia would like to host two races in the Kingdom, and told that this would not happen until 2024.

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The Briton spoke in his blog about Australia potentially returning to its traditional spot as the first race of the season, but he says that Bahrain holds an advantage logistically for the teams.

“Australia might like to regain its season-opening date, but the teams prefer to go to Bahrain so they can test and race in warm weather, without being too far from home, which means that when things go wrong, they can get stuff back to base more easily,” he wrote.

Saward went on to speak about Colombia, and given its geographical position in relation to the Caribbean sea, he notes that it would likely be called the Caribbean Grand Prix, and he suggests that there is a substantial amount of money backing it.

“One idea that is kicking around is a race in Colombia with a very solid project under development in the city of Barranquilla,” he explained.

“The word is that this is funded with private money and will not need public funding, although perhaps the authorities will be asked to kick in some cash for infrastructure work. 

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“I heard in Miami that this would be called the Caribbean Grand Prix, which would create a race that could move around the region over time, if other projects can come to fruition.”

Saward went on to mention young Colombian drivers would naturally act as catalysts for increased interest in a Colombian Grand Prix.

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Sebastian Montoya, son of seven-time F1 winner Juan Pablo, finished fourth in the Italian Formula 4 championship last season, while Nicolas Baptiste Velasco works under the tutelage of double world champion Fernando Alonso, and has joined the Formula Regional European Championship this season as part of Alonso’s FA racing team.

In other calendar news, Mexico is set to keep its iconic Day of the Dead weekend slot, while Vegas, according to Saward, is set to take Austin’s thanksgiving slot next year.