‘Dangerous’ Madrid GP plans warning raised by Spanish chief

Sam Cooper
Madrid will play host to Formula 1 from 2026. F1 news

IFEMA Madrid will provide a focal point for the new F1 circuit in the Spanish capital.

The vice president of the Royal Spanish Automobile Federation has suggested the current plans for the Madrid GP put fans “dangerously close” to the action.

Ater months of planning, Madrid was officially added to the 2026 calendar this week but with the plans available to the public for the first time, plenty have cast their verdict on what F1 is describing as a ‘hybrid’ circuit.

One of those is vice president Joaquín Verdegay who believes the banking section of the proposed plans puts fans far too close to the action.

Madrid chief raises safety concerns over new circuit design

The race will take place in the north of Madrid in the Valdebebas area and will use a mixture of public road and purpose-built track.

One of the features of the new circuit will be its steep banked corners, which the designer said would be the most extreme on the F1 calendar, but Verdegay is concerned they pose a danger to the race attendees.

“All the stands on the left at the exit of the bank seem very dangerously close to me,” he told Soy Motor. “Because if anything happens, the centrifugal force makes the remains of the car jump to the left and look what we have on the left.”

Verdegay’s solution to this would be to build up more around the circuit which would prevent the cars going so fast.

“Two pieces of stands, exaggeratedly close, could be placed on the left of the track,” he said. “There would be a problem of access, walkways could be put over it, it is a place where they see worse, they see less, but the public must be protected.”

But the corner exit is not Verdegay’s only concern as he raised a potential problem with the entry into the tunnel.

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“About this first tunnel, what worries me most is that it is a fairly long tunnel and you arrive at speed,” he said.

“I think it would be necessary to try to reduce the access speed as much as possible so that the drivers do not go flat out into the tunnel. I get the feeling that that’s not the case and that, honestly, worries me.”

Another point he raised was the pit area needed to be entirely removable as it is scheduled to take up the entrance to the IFEMA event space.

“The entire structure on the right, which is the pits, are things that would probably have to be built in a removable way because the entire element on the right is the main entrance to IFEMA.

“I suppose that the pit buildings will be moderately portable, that is my first criterion. I just draw attention to the fact that the pits, which are many, are a building that has to be removable.”

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