A Madrid Grand Prix is set to be added to the Formula 1 calendar for 2025 or 2026 at the expense of a race in Colombia, according to Juan Pablo Montoya.
Montoya was involved in the bid intended to bring a race to Barranquilla, on the north coast of the country, and said the race contract was “95 percent done”.
However, Madrid has also been working on bringing a grand prix to the streets of the Spanish capital and appears to have won that race.
“About eight months ago it was 95 per cent done, but someone messed it up on something and I don’t know what,” Montoya told Semana TV. “It may happen in the future. We went with the F1 people to Barranquilla and looked at the design.
“Everything was done, all that was missing was the signature and they were ready to sign. F1 has ended up giving the race to Madrid after their interest.”
Madrid GP to be ‘best race in Europe’
Montoya is Colombia‘s only full-time F1 driver, racing 94 times and notching up seven wins and 30 podiums with Williams and McLaren from 2001 to 2006.
A Colombian GP would’ve become the second race in South America after Interlagos – assuming that race also remained on the calendar.
F1 registered a ‘Madrid Grand Prix‘ trademark in July, a major hint at confirming the race, and a boost to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The track’s been home to the Spanish GP since 1991, and the trademark being registered to Madrid rather than Spain improves Barcelona‘s chances of staying on the calendar.
Its current F1 contract expires in 2025, after it appeared the track could disappear from the calendar in the early 2020s before embarking on facility upgrades.
F1 remained hugely popular in Spain throughout Fernando Alonso‘s lean years – his last victory came at his home race in 2013 and he only scored three podiums between 2014 and 2022.
However, his resurgence at Aston Martin in 2023 alongside Carlos Sainz‘s continued improvement at Ferrari shows Spanish motorsport is still going strong.
Despite more recent success, Sainz has never supplanted Alonso in fans’ hearts at Barcelona but he may become the darling of the Madrid crowds – he was born and raised in the city and supports Real Madrid.
Jose Vicente de los Mozos, president of IFEMA – an important Madrid event organisation consortium – said: “We are making progress with the contract, but I know when we are going to sign it and when we are going to announce it. It has to be the best race in Europe”.
Where is the next F1 2023 race?
F1 will return from its summer break with the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix from Zandvoort on August 25-27, where championship leader Max Verstappen will be racing on home soil.