The Spanish Grand Prix is set to shift from Barcelona to Madrid in 2026, marked by a 10-year contract, leaving Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya’s F1 future uncertain. Madrid’s 5.47km hybrid circuit plans around the IFEMA fairgrounds currently await FIA approval. The proposed track features 20 corners, blending street and non-street sections with a “premium” paddock building. Operated by public bodies, the venue’s capacity starts at 110,000, set to increase to 140,000.
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali praised the collaboration with IFEMA MADRID, emphasising F1’s vision for a sustainable spectacle. FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem highlighted the venue’s focus on environmental sustainability.
José Vicente de los Mozos, IFEMA MADRID's President, aspires to make the Grand Prix a global reference, combining sport and entertainment. Madrid's Regional President, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, anticipates a significant economic boost, while Mayor Jose Luis Martínez-Almeida sees F1 as a showcase for Madrid's energy.
Contrary to assumptions, Domenicali clarified that Madrid’s inclusion doesn’t rule out Barcelona’s F1 future. Ongoing discussions aim to extend collaboration with Barcelona, reflecting Spain’s growing importance in F1.
F1 CEO has not ruled out an extension for the Barcelona circuit thus opening the door for two races in Spain.
Madrid’s F1 track at the IFEMA convention centre introduces distinctive elements, including twin tunnels and a potentially banked corner. The hybrid circuit is likened to Miami’s layout, promising thrilling racing. Craig Wilson, F1’s Head of Vehicle Performance, revealed the track’s multiple iterations and the ongoing detailed design development process.
Reflecting on F1’s history in Madrid, the Jarama circuit hosted races between 1968 and 1981, facing challenges and ultimately disappearing due to financial struggles and safety concerns. Madrid’s recent selection for the F1 Exhibition and its inclusion in the F1 calendar underlines the city’s growing significance in the global Formula 1 landscape with top tier Spanish drivers like Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz deified as fan favourites.