F1: Colombia moves closer to signing a 10-year deal for Carribean GP (6th Update)

–by Mark Cipolloni–

The Caribbean Grand Prix in Barranquilla is closer to being a reality, but the organizers were told that Liberty Media has more than 35 proposals on the table to host a Grand Prize. More on that in a bit.

The Inter-American Entertainment Corporation (CIE), who promote and market the Mexico City F1 race, have submitted their candidacy to organize the Grand Prix.

“There is a group of private promoters, who are the managers. Some Spanish businessmen have led the process (headed by Luis García Abad, manager of Fernando Alonso), they brought the idea and would command a good part of this project. The CIE group, which manages the race in Mexico, has shown a lot of interest in participating”, explained the mayor Jaime Pumarejo, told EL HERALDO.

Pumarejo said that “a business model has been achieved in which most of the investment is private. The government would be responsible for improvement of existing roads and other infrastructure.”

Included in the 35 proposals in front of Liberty Media according to Formula Directa:

  1. London
  2. Kyalami (South Africa)
  3. Hanoi (Vietnam)
  4. Hong Kong (First we are hearing of this – Could be Calvin Lo involvement)
  5. South Korea
  6. Barranquilla (Colombia)
  7. A 2nd Grand Prix in Mexico other than Mexico City and also organized by CIE that would rotate every other year with Mexico City


November 3, 2022 

When discussing the proposed event, Jaime Pumarejo, mayor of the coastal city of Barranquilla, said he expects the race to attract more than 300,000 spectators over the course of a race weekend. He also suggested it could be on the calendar as early as “2024 or 2025”, and would stay there “hopefully for 10 years”.

He told Blu Radio : “Progress has been made in all the previous steps before a final decision. That is to say, they have already come to the city, they have found it comfortable, and they have thought that there could be a different Grand Prix here, where nature would be one of the most important points.”

November 2, 2022 

The race will be branded as the Caribbean Grand Prix. This is because Barranquilla lies on the Caribbean coast, while it is 600-miles away from the capital city of Bogota.

There are two semi-street circuits identified and approved – a plan A and a plan B. Both are within the metropolitan area of Barranquilla.”

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali visits Barranquila in Colombia (Image Credit: El Heraldo)

The Italian arrived accompanied by Federico González Compeán, who is the director of the Mexican Grand Prix.

The visit of the Mexican executive is also a very good sign, that CIE (Inter-American Entertainment Corporation) is already the promoter of the GP of his country and could also manage the event in Barranquilla.

Nothing is yet closed since they are in the negotiation phase and there are several cities that aspire to occupy a place in the championship. There is also significant logistical work to be done in the city and in the region. There is talk that the circuit would be multipurpose to be profitable, to still define its condition. The Malecón del Río would be one of the areas through which the route would pass.

The Magdalena River would be the backdrop of the Caribbean GP in Barranquilla
This road is rumored to be part of the circuit.

November 1, 2022 

(GMM) Colombia’s chances of joining the ever-expanding Formula 1 calendar have been given a major boost.

In September, we reported that the Colombian city of Barranquilla was bidding to become a F1 race host, with mayor Jaime Pumarejo confirming: “Representatives of Formula 1 have already visited the city and they like it”.

And now, the local Colombian newspaper El Heraldo reports that F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali’s private jet touched down in Barranquilla at 4.30pm on Monday.

The report said Fernando Alonso’s manager Luis Garcia Abad, reportedly working with promoters of the Mexican GP, was travelling with Domenicali.

“It is not yet a reality,” said mayor Pumarejo, “but we are in the race and we hope to reach the finish line.

“We do not want to generate false expectations.”

It is believed a race in Colombia may actually be branded the Caribbean GP.

“If it was signed, we could be talking about 2024 or 2025 and hopefully it would be for ten years,” the mayor added.

“There are two semi-street circuits identified and approved – a plan A and a plan B. Both are within the metropolitan area.”

September 26, 2022 

According to MARCA, the race would be called the Caribbean Grand Prix and would take place in 2024. Barranquilla is on the Caribbean coast and is 1,000km away from the country’s capital, Bogotá.

Jaime Pumarejo Heins, the mayor of Barranquilla, said that the environment would be a major focus of the race should it be added and that it would not cost the city or the country any money.

“The climate change effort we are making in the city would be one of the most important points of this grand prix.

“In addition, it would be self-sustainable, i.e., the development of the race would not cost the country and the city, but, on the contrary, would bring employment, tourism and recognition.”

Planning for the race appears to already be advanced with the mayor stating that two routes, which are both street circuits, had been approved.

“In one of the routes the river is a central feature, in another not, but both are in the metropolitan area of Barranquilla. We hope that, if all that remains to be done, we could be talking about 2024 or 2025 and it would be signed for 10 years.”

The Concorde Agreement, which was signed in 2020 and lasts until 2025, dictates that 25 races is the maximum allowed per year. If the Colombia race is added within the suggested timeframe, the sport would reach that ceiling and freeze out any hope for the South African GP.

September 23, 2022 

(GMM) Colombia has become the latest country interested in joining Formula 1’s ever-expanding race calendar.

With the publication of the official schedule for 2023, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said he was proud that “new venues” were signing up amid the “retention of traditional events”.

One of the next ‘new venues’ in F1 could be the Colombian city of Barranquilla.

City mayor Jaime Pumarejo told Colombian radio Blu: “Representatives of Formula 1 have already visited the city and they like it.

“If the remaining issues are settled, hopefully we can talk about the 2024 or 2025 season. The contract will be signed for ten years,” he said.

However, there is increasing tension between Formula 1’s authorities and the teams.

A report in the British newspaper The Guardian said team bosses were left “angry and frustrated” when the new calendar was released.

Apparently, the arduous October-November triple-header through Austin, Mexico and Sao Paulo was set in stone without their approval.

One team source said it is “unacceptable”, while the F1 owner Liberty Media was also reportedly unhappy that the announcement of a new deal with Monaco had to be rushed because of the timing of the calendar’s release.


F1 is so popular under Liberty Media ownership, countries are knocking down the door wanting a race. Its one of the reasons why Liberty Media wanted to also buy IndyCar – they needed a 2nd series to fill the demand.

There were rumors of South Africa being added to the 2023 calendar, but they never materialized because they could not afford an F1 race.  Besides, the track is not good for F1 and will produce boring parades because of its short straights.

January 24, 2022 

(GMM) Colombia, the country that produced Juan Pablo Montoya, could be making a bid to host a Formula 1 race.

El Tiempo newspaper reports that Ivan Duque Marquez (shown above), the country’s president, is open-minded about Barranquilla mayor Jaime Pumarejo’s proposal to aim for a spot on the bustling annual F1 calendar.

“As a team, we are able to make dreams come true,” the president reportedly said.

Barranquilla mayor Jaime Pumarejo

“Pumarejo says there is an option to present a project that allows us to have a circuit,” president Marquez added.

“The possibility is still far from material, but the mayor has already told me that he had spoken with the organizers of Formula 1, and he has all of our support.”

The president said the idea is for a semi-street circuit located a stone’s throw from the sea.

Barranquilla mayor Pumarejo also commented: “With the arrival of F1, the number of international visitors who come to Atlantico for the three-day event would double.”

Colombia Presidente Ivan Duque Marquez



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