The city of Madrid will host the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix beginning in 2026, with a 10-year contract that concludes in 2035, F1 announced Jan. 23.
Per F1, the new street circuit will be roughly five minutes of from the capital city’s airport. This would allow up to 90% of the estimated 110,000 fans each day of the Grand Prix to travel using public transportation, making it one of the most accessible races on the F1 calendar.
The circuit is scheduled to circle around the IFEMA Exhibition Center. IFEMA, a consortium consisting primarily of the Madrid city council, the Madrid chamber of commerce and the regional government, will be the event promoter. IFEMA has hosted a number of international events at the Exhibition Center, most notably a NATO summit in 2022.
“Our dream of hosting a major F1 event around IFEMA MADRID has come true,” Jose Vicente de los Mozos, president of the Executive Committee of IFEMA, told F1’s website. “We are thrilled to announce the return of F1 to Madrid after more than four decades.
“We have the ambition to organize a Grand Prix that will become a reference in the F1 worldwide calendar, specifically conceptualized and designed to offer a distinctive and unique experience for both fans and teams participating in the competition.”
“Modern Formula 1 cars racing on a new circuit in the Spanish capital city of Madrid is an enticing prospect,” FIA President Mohammed ben Sulayem said. “As is customary, the proposed circuit will be subject to FIA homologation and safety checks and calendar approval by the World Motor Sport Council.”
“Madrid is an incredible city with amazing sporting and cultural heritage, and today’s announcement begins an exciting new chapter for F1 in Spain,” President and CEO of F1 Stefano Domenicali said.
The Madrid street circuit is set to be the ninth track to host the Spanish Grand Prix, which is scheduled to hold its 67th iteration in 2026. The current host, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, has held the event annually since 1991.
Barcelona still has a contract for the 2026 season, which could necessitate it hosting a different grand prix on that year’s schedule. The door is also not closed on Barcelona still being an active F1 track either, in addition to its duties as a popular test track.
“For the avoidance of doubt and to clarify here, the fact we are in Madrid is not excluding the fact we could stay in Barcelona for the future,” Domenicali clarified in a separate interview with F1’s website. “Looking ahead, there are discussions in place to see if we can really extend our collaboration with Barcelona, with whom we have a very good relationship, for the future.”
This is not the only time a street circuit in Spain has been used in recent years in F1. Valencia hosted the European Grand Prix from 2008 to 2012, with the country having received a boom in F1 popularity as a result of Fernando Alonso‘s two championships in the mid 2000s.
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Michael has watched NASCAR for 20 years and regularly covered the sport from 2013-2021. He moved on to Formula 1, IndyCar, and SRX coverage for the site, while still putting a toe in the water from time-to-time back into the NASCAR pool.
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