Formula 1 have confirmed that the Madrid Grand Prix will be added to the F1 calendar from 2026, on a long term deal until at least 2035, with the circuit including 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 1 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.
“Madrid is an incredible city with amazing sporting and cultural heritage, and today’s announcement begins an exciting new chapter for F1 in Spain,” F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said in a statement.
“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 Formula 1’s vision to create a multi-day spectacle of sport and entertainment that delivers maximum value for fans and embraces innovation and sustainability.”
The venue is projected to have capacity to host more than 110,000 fans per day across grandstand, general admission, and VIP hospitality. There are also plans to grow the circuit’s capacity to 140,000 per day over the first half of the agreement, making Madrid one of the largest venues on the F1 calendar.
“It is with great satisfaction that we announce Formula 1 is coming to the Community of Madrid, to a region and a capital that inspires openness and confidence within and beyond our borders. We are the main engine of Spain’s prosperity and progress,” Isabel Diaz Ayuso, President of the Region of Madrid.
“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 euros 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.”
Madrid GP Circuit to feature indoor section?
Spanish outlet Relevo revealed what the layout of the Madrid GP circuit could be like, and indicated that it could feature an indoor section of track, which would be a first for F1, though this looks to have been scaled back at the official launch.
The finish line is poised to be located on the road in front of the main access to the IFEMA pavilions, with the main parking lot lying outside the circuit layout. The pit lane would adjoin the pavilions, and the paddock is planned to be set up inside one of the main pavilions. The circuit would run in a clockwise direction.
The first right-hand curve is expected at an exit from the side parking lot, leading to Dublin Road, parallel to the M-40. This would be followed by a straight on Vía de Dublin, heading towards the M-11, the access highway to Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport.
The circuit would then pass under this towards Calle de Francisco Umbral, skirting the former site of the Mad Cool music festival, held on IFEMA property. This area, known for hosting the festival from its third edition in 2018 until 2022, is set to feature a banking reminiscent of Indianapolis and Zandvoort tracks.
The route would then return to the fairgrounds via a currently pedestrian tunnel, wide enough for the race, leaving the Real Madrid training centre in Valdebebas to the left, passing under the M-11, and re-entering the IFEMA facilities.
In a historic move for Formula 1, the organizers had planned to integrate parts of Halls 12 and 14 of IFEMA into the race, marking the first time a section of an indoor circuit will be used in a fixed facility, thought his looks to have been scrapped upon announcing the circuit details.
The circuit would then emerge back onto Vía de Dublin, leading up to the finish line with the pit area on the right.
However, the final layout is subject to review and potential modifications by the Royal Spanish Automobile Federation and FIA technicians, ensuring the circuit meets all necessary standards for a high-profile Formula 1 race.
What happens to the Spanish GP in Barcelona?
As yet, the future of the Spanish GP in Barcelona is unclear, but the contract F1 has with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya lasts until 2026, and it looks like the Spanish GP will be moved to the country’s capital.
The last F1 race held in Madrid was in 1981 at the Jarama circuit, with Barcelona being home to the Spanish GP since 1991. Other race in Spain have included Grand Prix in Jerez between 1986-1990 and also in 1994 and 1997, with Valencia also hosting races from 2008-2012.