By John Ensor •
Updated: 05 Dec 2023 • 14:25
Stock image of Formula One.
Credit: Michael Cola/Shutterstock.com
The Spanish capital is poised to host a Grand Prix event starting in 2026, marking a return to the city for the first time since the early 1980s. The race is scheduled to take place on a new semi-urban circuit around Ifema and Valdebebas.
On March 28, the Official Bulletin of Industrial Property (BOPI) reported that Formula 1 had registered the names ‘Formula 1 Madrid Grand Prix’ and ‘Madrid Grand Prix‘.
This move signalled the final stages of negotiation between the city and Formula 1, with an official announcement expected soon, according to El Español.
The introduction of the Madrid Grand Prix casts doubt on the future of the Montmelo circuit in Catalonia. Currently contracted with Formula 1 until 2026, Montmelo faces three possible scenarios.
There could be two Spanish races in 2026 before Montmelo exits the calendar, the Catalan circuit could fulfil its contract only for 2024 and 2025, or, less likely, Montmelo might renew its contract, allowing both races to coexist.
The upcoming announcement follows months of strategic negotiations by Ifema with Formula One Management (FOM).
Jose Vicente de los Mozos, president of Ifema Madrid’s Executive Committee, expressed optimism last July, stating, ‘I know when we are going to sign it and when we are going to announce it,’ while respecting the existing confidentiality agreement with FOM.
The Madrid circuit project has garnered full support from key political figures, including Isabel Diaz Ayuso, president of the Community, and Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, mayor of Madrid. Notably, the circuit will be funded entirely with private capital.
The Madrid circuit, extending just over five kilometres, follows the trend of recent urban circuits added to the Formula 1 calendar. Of the 24 races planned for 2024, eight will be on street circuits. This represents significant growth in this race format.
Víctor Francos, president of the Higher Sports Council (CSD), acknowledged the potential shift of the Formula 1 Grand Prix from Barcelona to Madrid. ‘For the first time, there is an alternative proposal,’ he said, highlighting the competitive nature of the Madrid project.
However, Francos clarified that the decision on the future Spanish Grand Prix venue lies with Formula 1, a private entity that evaluates offers based on various factors, not just economic.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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