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Madrid lands Spanish GP from 2026 as Barcelona fights for F1 future

Madrid’s new deal means that the event leaves the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which has been its home since 1991, with an uncertain future.

F1’s initial announcement on Tuesday morning made no mention of the current venue.

However, it’s understood that the Barcelona authorities are still in discussions about the future, and that a second event in the country has not been completely ruled out.

A hybrid 5.47km circuit featuring street and non-street sections will be built around the IFEMA fairgrounds and convention centre located to the north-east of the city.

Still subject to FIA approval, the track will feature 20 corners, with a predicted lap time of 1m32s. It will have what F1 calls a “premium” paddock building.

Well-served by public transport, the venue will initially have a capacity of 110,000, which will be increased to 140,000 over the first half of the contract.

Opened in 1991, IFEMA is operated by a consortium of public bodies, consisting of the city council of Madrid (31%), the regional administration of the community of Madrid (31%), the Madrid chamber of commerce (31%) and the Montemadrid Foundation (7%), and thus the local authorities are fully behind the F1 project.

The venue’s boss claimed as long ago as July that a deal had been agreed, but at the time F1 sources insisted that nothing had been signed.

The 10-year deal continues the trend for long-term race contracts, with Madrid joining Australia (2035) and Bahrain (2036) among those that extend furthest into the future.

The Madrid area previously hosted the race at the Jarama circuit on nine occasions between 1968 and 1981.

IFEMA Madrid

Photo by: Formula 1

IFEMA Madrid

“Madrid is an incredible city with amazing sporting and cultural heritage, and today’s announcement begins an exciting new chapter for F1 in Spain,” said F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

“I would like to thank the team at IFEMA MADRID, the regional government of Madrid and the city’s mayor for putting together a fantastic proposal.

“It truly epitomises F1’s vision to create a multi-day spectacle of sport and entertainment that delivers maximum value for fans and embraces innovation and sustainability.”

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem stressed that the venue will have a keen focus on sustainability.

“Modern F1 cars racing on a new circuit in the Spanish capital city of Madrid is an enticing prospect,” he said.

“As we build towards the introduction of the FIA 2026 F1 regulations, which have been framed with Net Zero carbon by 2030 in mind, it is pleasing to see that the local organisers have placed a sharp focus on environmental sustainability in their plans for the event.

“As is customary, the proposed circuit will be subject to FIA homologation and safety checks and calendar approval by the World Motor Sport Council.”

José Vicente de los Mozos, president of the executive committee of IFEMA MADRID, and the man who claimed that the deal was signed last summer, said that the race would become a “reference” for the sport.

“Our dream of hosting a major F1 event around IFEMA MADRID has come true,” he said. “We are thrilled to announce the return of F1 to Madrid after more than four decades.

“We have the ambition to organise a Grand Prix that will become a reference in the F1 worldwide calendar, specifically conceptualised and designed to offer a distinctive and unique experience for both fans and teams participating in the competition.

“With this, Madrid wants to deep dive into the development of a new concept that combines sport and entertainment, while delivering a memorable event.”

Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of the Region of Madrid, emphasised the predicted economic impact on the city.

“We are the main engine of Spain’s prosperity and progress,” she said. “This event, which we expect to be followed on a global scale by 70 million people, will represent an increase of more than €450 million in Madrid’s GDP per year, and the creation of 8,200 jobs.

“The Community of Madrid is a region with a great international projection, open, plural, and competitive, and F1 will contribute to further consolidate the Madrid brand among the best in the world.”

City mayor Jose Luis Martínez-Almeida added: “We know that F1 is more than a race, it is an unprecedented opportunity to drive the transformation that Madrid is undergoing, and to show the world what we are capable of.

“I am confident that Madrid will be up to the task, not only because we deserve a spectacle of the magnitude of F1, but also because F1 deserves a city with the energy, character, and passion of Madrid.”

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This article was originally published by a www.motorsport.com . Read the Original article here. .

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