Barranquilla's Mayor wants the city to host a Formula One Grand Prix ©Getty Images

Barranquilla has emerged as a potential destination for a Formula One street race as the future Pan American Games host city jostles to become one of the world’s premiere sporting destinations.

Barranquilla Mayor Jaime Pumarejo has held preliminary talks with the promotion, according to Colombia’s President Iván Duque.

"It is a dream, but we are capable of making dreams come true as a team," Duque claimed, per El Heraldo.

"We know that some adjustments and adaptations have to be made, but a semi-urban circuit can be made on a track that the members of that organisation will come to review.

"What I want to say, Mayor, as we have done in so many other options, and bearing in mind that this is a sports investment, but above all also to position the name of Colombia abroad, you have our support so that we can build that dream."

Pumarejo, for his part, claimed that an F1 race would bring in 60,000 international tourists and represents "one of the most important showcases that we could have".

Barranquilla staged the Central American and Caribbean Games in 2018, with the Estadio Metropolitano the centrepiece, and facilities used for that event are poised to form the core of the venue plan for the 2027 Pan American Games and Parapan American Games.

Barranquilla was awarded hosting rights last year, uncontested, and is due to become only the second Pan American Games host city in Colombia after Cali.

Duque was present at an event held in August to announce Barranquilla as the host city, and has been keen to be associated with a project where he claims "we are going to show what the Golden Gate of Colombia means".

Brazil is the only South American country on the existing Formula One calendar ©Getty Images
Brazil is the only South American country on the existing Formula One calendar ©Getty Images

The Pan American Games is not the only sporting event on the coastal city’s wishlist, and Duque drew comparisons between the continental muliti-sport meeting and an F1 Grand Prix.

"We knew what Barranquilla and the Atlantic had done with the Central American and Caribbean Games, but competing for those 2027 Pan American Games was almost impossible and we decided to support Barranquilla, and the goal was achieved," Duque said, as reported by El Heraldo.

There is only one F1 race on the current schedule in South America, the São Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil.

Argentina has hosted Grands Prix in the past, but not this millennium, while the Mexico City Grand Prix also takes place in Latin America.

All of Duque and Colombia’s hosting ambitions have not come to fruition lately.

Colombia was supposed to co-host the Copa América along with Argentina in 2020, before the men’s football competition was moved to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Violent anti-Government protests swept the country in 2021 leading to Colombia being stripped of hosting rights, although COVID-19 was also cited.

While estimates vary, it is known that dozens were killed and an Amnesty International report in July concluded that the authorities in Cali - epicentre of a the civil unrest - were guilty of "the use of lethal weapons against protesters, excessive and unlawful use of less lethal weapons such as tear gas, unlawful detentions and torture", and that this was "the modus operandi implemented throughout the country".

Cali did go ahead and stage the inaugural Junior Pan American Games in late 2021, with a two-and-a-half-month delay to the event blamed on COVID-19.