Former Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya says a deal to stage a Grand Prix in his home country of Colombia was "95% done" – only for Madrid to swoop in instead.
The president of Colombia, Ivan Duque, has shown interest in his country hosting F1 for the first time, and reports emerged last year of plans to organise a Grand Prix in Barranquilla, on the Carribbean coast, using a semi-street circuit layout similar to that of Miami.
However, Montoya – Colombia's most successful F1 driver – intimated that the championship's attentions had since been diverted to Madrid, at the expense of Colombia.
"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.
"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 seeking to wrest Spanish GP from Barcelona
RacingNews365 revealed last month that a Formula 1 circuit near Madrid should be the on the calendar by either 2026 or 2027, based at the IFEMA complex on the outskirts of the city and near to Barajas International Airport.
President of the IFEMA executive committee José Vicente de los Mozos indicated to local press that the signing of a deal was imminent and that he knew when F1 would come to Madrid.
However, there has been no subsequent confirmation of a Grand Prix in Madrid, and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which has staged the Spanish Grand Prix every year since 1991, has a deal to host the race until 2026.