Madrid Grand Prix: Major development as Barcelona’s days look numbered

Henry Valantine
Sergio Perez performs during Red Bull Showrun in Madrid, Spain. Madrid Grand Prix

Madrid could replace Barcelona on the F1 calendar in 2026.

Multiple reports in Spain claim that a Madrid Grand Prix is edging ever closer, and an announcement over a race in the Spanish capital could come as early as next week.

The proposed race, with officials from Madrid long having been known to have been in discussion with Formula 1, could be set to join the calendar from the 2026 season.

Spanish publication AS reports that the announcement for the race could come as soon as next week, claiming a “long-term agreement” in place with Formula 1 to host a race on a semi-urban track that would see the sport take in some of the city’s landmarks.

Madrid Grand Prix reportedly agreed for 2026, with announcement mooted as early as next week

Along with a race in the Spanish capital, however, would potentially impact on the future of the current iteration of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona – held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya since 1991.

While the circuit’s current deal lasts until 2026, should an announcement with Madrid come to fruition, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is doubtful as to whether or not two races in Spain can take place in future.

He told AS last year when presented with that subject: “I don’t think in the medium term, after 2026, we will be in that situation of having two races in Europe in the same country unless something changes and it’s different.”

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Carlos Sanz de Barros, president of the FIA Senate, however, believes there could be room for two races in his home nation – as rumours persisted as to whether or not Madrid would join the calendar.

“As a Spaniard, born in Madrid, I want F1 in Madrid again, it is clear,” he said. “As president of RACE, the last one was in 1981 (in Jarama) so having F1 in Madrid again is the wish of many people.

“Is it possible to have two races? Yes, why not? We have three in the United States and two in Italy. There have been before.”

Madrid-born Carlos Sainz Sr, father of current Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr, would love the chance to see the Spanish capital rejoin the calendar, with the last race there having taken place at Jarama in 1981.

“I think the presence of a Grand Prix in Spain is fundamental,” he said, as quoted by Motorsport.com.

“I don’t know if in the end it will be one or two, but if it is confirmed, and it could be a reality, if the Spanish Grand Prix comes to Madrid, like any Madrileño, [I would be] happy, I know what a Grand Prix implies and the imprint it leaves on a city.

“I think that, on the other hand, Catalonia has had it for many years and enjoyed it, there is no written rule that it has to be for life in one place, it was also in Jerez at the time.

“These are processes in the world of motorsport that are going on and if it really happens, I would be very happy. I encourage anyone who has the ability to decide, and I think it’s a private initiative, so no one can point the finger at anyone and for the money to go somewhere, I think if it is done, it will be a success.”

PlanetF1.com has reached out to Formula 1 for comment.

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