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In Which Latin American Countries Would a Formula 1 Circuit Be Viable?

Given the possibility that Colombia hosts a Formula 1 Grand Prix, here we tell you in which other Latin American countries this option is viable..

Formula 1 car during a race

Photo: Unsplash

LatinAmerican Post | Theoscar Mogollón González

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Leer en español: ¿En qué países de Latinoamérica sería viable un circuito de Fórmula 1?

Not everything is football in Latin America. Although many do not believe it, adrenaline, speed, and engines are also part of the passion for sports in Latinos, who have adopted motorsports in all its facets as part of their daily lives. It is at this point that Formula 1 gets much of the attention because over the years it has gained space on this side of the world, either because of the variety of circuits or the large number of drivers that represent us.

Historically, the three Latin countries that have embraced motorsports with the greatest passion are Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. The first two remain as fixed places in the Formula 1 calendars, even having the São Paulo Grand Prix as one of the most decisive when consecrating a champion. However, fortunately, that exciting feeling of hosting a Grand Prix continues to reach more corners of Latin America.

In recent days, Colombian President Iván Duque suggested starting a discussion about putting together a project that involves a Formula 1 circuit, to have other prospects for economic development in the country. To do this, he appealed to the position of Jaime Pumarejo, mayor of Barranquilla, who had already spoken with Formula 1 managers to build a circuit. Although they have the necessary support, their implementation is still a long way off.

Details about this possible Formula 1 Grand Prix are scarce. Duque only announced that it would be built in the coastal area of Barranquilla and it would be a mixed-style track, which would combine the characteristics of an urban ring and a stationary circuit. Likewise, Pumarejo shared -among others- some data that shows the possible increase in foreign tourists that there would be during the weekend of the race.

Formula 1: to the conquest of Latin America

Having a Formula 1 circuit is not enough. Before talking about future projects and the construction of tracks, the people in charge must take into account the fans and how important it is to encourage them to enter the world of engines. It is worth noting that these types of initiatives will have many benefits for the country that carries them out. However, the risks that would be assumed are no less important, since there are precedents such as that of Valencia (Spain) where the investment did not recover and ended up in bankruptcy.

Now, beyond the aforementioned proposal from Colombia, below we present three other Latin American countries where a Formula 1 circuit would be viable. On this occasion, we exclude Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, which in addition to having several cities to host a circuit, already have a history in the highest category of motorsport.

Ecuador

Although it may seem strange to some, in Ecuador there are not only fans of motorsports, but there are also incredible landscapes to attract those tourists who are fanatics of Formula 1. Located near the city of Ibarra, the provincial capital of Imbabura, it is the Yahuarcocha Autodrome, a track located on the banks of the Yahuarcocha lagoon and that would have nothing to envy the Monaco Grand Prix.

Of course, it is worth mentioning that this track is not suitable for Formula 1 competitions so far, but with some improvements, it would be ideal to start a project of such magnitude. Inaugurated in 1970, this autodrome has a capacity for only 400 people and is 3.6 km long. With the right people and proposals, the Andean nation would emerge as one of the best options in South America.

El Salvador

A relevant fact is that El Salvador was the first country in Central America to build a racetrack. It is located in the Department of La Libertad, 25 minutes from the Salvadoran capital. Since 1979, the El Jabalí International Racetrack has been a reference in the world of Latin American motorsports. Despite not having the minimum dimensions required by Formula 1 (it is 3.25 km) it is currently one of the most realistic options.

The length of the track is the longest in Central America, but it is also worth noting its different ascents, descents, and pronounced curves. In addition, it has four grandstands with a capacity for 8,000 spectators. With the possibility of making some improvements, the main attraction of this circuit is its surroundings, as it is located at the foot of Cerro El Jabalí.

Venezuela

With all the problems that Venezuela has, a Formula 1 circuit would seem like an unnecessary investment and even a total luxury. However, beyond the improbability of an investment of this magnitude being made, the truth is that there are several places where the construction of a circuit of such dimensions in this country is viable.

On the one hand, both in the states of Zulia and Cojedes two cities have racetracks with enough space to be modified on a large scale. Likewise, during 2012 former President Hugo Chávez had among his projects to convert the Francisco de Miranda Air Base, located in the metropolitan area of Caracas, into a park with a Formula 1 circuit, but these plans were forgotten after his death.