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Starting in 2026, Madrid will take over as the host of the Spanish Grand Prix, replacing Barcelona.
F1 Sport

Starting in 2026, Madrid will take over as the host of the Spanish Grand Prix, replacing Barcelona.

In 2026, Madrid will replace Barcelona as the location for the Spanish Grand Prix, potentially jeopardizing the future of the current venue on the Formula One schedule.

On Tuesday, Formula One revealed that the upcoming 3.399-mile track will be situated in the northeastern part of the capital city, around the Ifema convention centre. The circuit will comprise of a combination of street and custom-built sections, featuring a total of 20 corners.

A contract has been finalized for the sport to continue holding the race in Madrid until 2035. The circuit will initially have a capacity of 110,000, with potential to increase to 140,000, making it one of the largest venues on the calendar.

The announcement also pledged to prioritize sustainability at the event, as the sport aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2030. The track will be conveniently located five minutes away from Barajas international airport and can be accessed through train and metro lines. The sport estimates that 90% of attendees will be able to use public transportation to reach the meeting.

F1 stated that talks are ongoing with Barcelona, whose contract runs until 2026, regarding their future and the possibility of Spain hosting two races.

“To clarify any confusion, I want to make it clear that our current location in Madrid does not mean we will not consider staying in Barcelona in the future,” stated Stefano Domenicali, CEO of F1.

In the near future, we are in talks to potentially expand our partnership with Barcelona, as we have a strong rapport with them.

Formula One is experiencing a renewed surge in popularity in Spain, thanks to the presence of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso and two-time race winner Carlos Sainz on the track. In 2023, the average TV viewership for races in Spain was 3.5 million, marking an impressive 84% increase from the previous year.

The inaugural Spanish Grand Prix took place in 1913 and the city of Madrid last served as the host in 1981 at the Jarama track, located 20 miles north of the city. From 1986 to 1990, the race was held in Andalucía at Jerez, before returning to its current location at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya where it has been held for a significant period of time.

Domenicali stated that the preferred contracts for the future of the sport are long-term deals, particularly with race hosts. He also noted that despite recent additions to the calendar being in the US and the Middle East, Europe remains a crucial and highly popular market for Formula 1.

According to Domenicali, this is fantastic news for Formula One as it demonstrates the continued global interest in our sport. It highlights that while Europe may be perceived as hesitant to invest in our sport, cities like Madrid are proving otherwise.

Source: theguardian.com