Motor racing-Colombia opens talks to host F1 race in Barranquilla

BOGOTA (Reuters) - The Colombian city of Barranquilla has opened discussions with Formula 1 organisers Liberty Media to host a race, the city’s mayor and country’s president said.

Although there are no Formula 1-grade tracks in Colombia, city officials said the economic attractions were tempting.

“It would duplicate the number of tourists that come here – and over just three days. We are daring to dream,” said Barranquilla mayor Jaime Pumarejo.

The country’s president Ivan Duque told an audience in Barranquilla on Saturday they had presented their proposals to Liberty Media and said: “Count on us.”

The idea involves building “a semi-urban” venue, Duque said.

Further details about the bid were not disclosed.

There are a record 23 races scheduled this year and although organisers are keen to expand the sport’s geographical reach, they have looked primarily at adding venues in Africa and the United States.

Formula 1 currently has Latin American races in Mexico and Brazil.

Writing by Andrew Downie; additional reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta in Bogota, editing by Pritha Sarkar