Madrid Grand Prix ‘set to be announced’ as Barcelona F1 race in doubt

The Spanish Grand Prix could be moved to the country's capital city

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The future of the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix is set to be decided as F1 officials are expected to unveil their plans to host a new race in Madrid in the coming days.

Given the success of recent street circuit races in Miami, Las Vegas and Baku, F1 chiefs are reportedly set to announce that the Spanish GP will move to Madrid in 2026 or 2027 after previously refusing to rule out the possibility.

The contract would initially be for 10 seasons, in which there would be an estimated annual income of around £343 million ($435m) from hosting the race.

Isabel Diaz Ayuso, president of the Community of Madrid, said in her New Year’s speech that there would be an “announcement” in relation to the street race on January 23, with mayor Jose Luis Martinez Almeida also confirming the news.

“It is such a dream and the feeling is that there is no administration or country that could reject such a project,” Ayuso said in a media briefing on Tuesday.

Madrid’s Jarama Circuit

The presentation ceremony is reportedly set to take place at the Ifema Madrid event, where the urban circuit will be located, on January 23, according to Marca. Along with Ayuso and the mayor, a number of “personalities” are expected to be present, including F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali.

Barcelona race future in doubt

The growing emergence of a potential Madrid GP is likely to cast doubt over the future of the current race in Barcelona, where F1 race weekends have been held since 1991.

Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya is the current host of the Spanish Grand Prix and has been a regular presence on the calendar. But concerns over the lack of excitement in the on-track action has led organisers to discuss alternative options.

Track developers made the decision to remove the chicane from the final sector to improve the likelihood of overtaking, but it made little difference to the overall entertainment as Max Verstappen dominated from start to finish in the 2023 race.

It is not yet known if the introduction of a Madrid race would force Barcelona to renounce their deal, which is not due to expire until 2026. The circuit also hosts pre-season testing in February, and it is unlikely that Madrid could accommodate all 10 teams testing their cars a replacement.

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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