FIA president “can’t see any issue” with Colombia hosting F1 Grand Prix
Mohammed ben Sulayem, president of the FIA, says a Grand Prix in the South American country could feature on the Formula 1 calendar in future.
Ahead of the FIA American Congress that takes place in Cartagena, Colombia, from Monday, the president of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Mohammed ben Sulayem, spoke in an interview with W Radio about the potential for a Colombian Formula One Grand Prix.
“I can’t see any issue” - Den Sulayem open to F1 in Colombia
“When we talk about F1 or any other discipline of the FIA, that is F1 or F2 or F3, or even Formula E, we talk a lot about diversity,” said Ben Sulayem, who will be at the event with the representatives of the main automobile clubs of Latin America and the Caribbean, which runs until Wednesday. “We talk about the championship reaching different countries, and that is what the FIA and the FOM [Formula One Group] want.
“To us, to reach other countries it means also that the business is going in a good way. If you look at how healthy F1 is, it’s very healthy, it’s going in the right direction. We had some issues in the covid [pandemic]; but every did. But now, when we are talking about sport - what is sport? Sport is competition and entertainment and business. And I believe that Colombia… I’m not saying that they can’t, no.
“There are other countries that 10 years ago, 20 years ago, that nobody would have dreamed of being there. Someone said, ‘Don’t even dream of Formula One coming to the UAW,’ and now we’ve had a Grand Prix since 2009, in Abu Dhabi.
“I can’t see any issue if the government studies it in a proper way. The investment is one thing, but what is the return for them? So I believe they have to have a plan to understand what is going to be beneficial to the economic sector, to the social sector, and I believe if it comes here it will stay, if it’s studied in a proper way.”
Colombian president eager to secure F1 Grand Prix
In February, Colombian President Iván Duque expressed his desire for the country to host the highest category of world motorsports, through a semi-urban circuit in the city of Barranquilla, whose mayor, Jaime Pumarejo, supports the proposal.