Spanish Grand Prix to move from Barcelona to Madrid on 10-year deal from 2026

By Sports Desk January 23, 2024

Madrid will rejoin the Formula One calendar from 2026 after signing a 10-year deal to host the Spanish Grand Prix.

Having last staged a grand prix in 1981, F1 announced on Tuesday morning that the Spanish capital would host the race on a new circuit with both street and non-street sections, and with the expectation that more than 110,000 fans per day will be able to attend.

Barcelona’s role as race hosts – the Spanish Grand Prix has taken place at the Circuit de Cataluyna since 1991 – could now come under threat but it has a contract up to and including 2026, meaning both cities are currently slated to run grands prix that year.

The PA news agency understands Madrid winning a contract to stage a race does not automatically mean Barcelona will drop off the calendar in two years’ time, with organisers still in discussions as to whether it will remain a part of the plans moving forward.

The upcoming season will see a record 24 grands prix take place as the sport continues to grow in new markets, attracting more interest from prospective venues.

Madrid last held an F1 grand prix in 1981 at Jarama – a race won by the Ferrari of Gilles Villeneuve.

But, with the sport aiming to be net carbon neutral by 2030, shifting the race to a city-centre venue with easier transport links and closer hotels will help achieve that overall aim.

In announcing the new Madrid race, F1 said: “Formula One has today announced that the Spanish Grand Prix will be held in Madrid from 2026 to 2035 inclusive following an agreement with IFEMA MADRID to bring a brand-new circuit to the Spanish capital, which will incorporate both street and non-street sections.”

“The new 5.47km circuit, subject to FIA homologation and final design specification, will feature 20 corners, with a projected qualifying lap of one minute 32 seconds.

“Built around the world class IFEMA exhibition centre, the circuit will also incorporate a premium Paddock building with a new race tower and office spaces, VIP hospitality and entertainment areas.

“Located in the city of Madrid and five minutes from the Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport, the Spanish Grand Prix will become one of the most accessible races on the F1 calendar.

“With the circuit just a short commute away by Metro, train and city lines, it is estimated that 90 per cent of fans will be able to travel to the Paddock via public transport, while fans staying in local accommodation will be a short walk away.”

The new F1 season gets under way in Bahrain on March 2, with the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona due to take place on June 23.

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