The arrival of Madrid onto the F1 calendar to host the Spanish Grand Prix from 2026 means a brand new race track, but we are already pondering where the overtaking opportunities are.
Having last held a race in 1981, Madrid returns to the F1 calendar in 2026 after the city secured a new 10-year deal to host the Spanish Grand Prix.
But, while Jarama was the venue up until 1981, the circuit has been overlooked – not helped by being quite short and needing work to reach FIA Grade 1 status – in favour of a new layout to be constructed around the IFEMA exhibition centre.
Go onboard for a lap of the new Madrid F1 track…
While the layout of the new Madrid track has been decided, the construction to bring the existing roads up to standard and create the bespoke sections is due to get underway shortly.
As a result, simulation tools are the only way to get a glimpse into how the new race track might look and feel once the drivers go racing around it in 2026.
Tyrone Hessbrook, known as Nukedrop, used simulation tools to create the track for use in Assetto Corsa, with the Williams eSports department sharing the video of an onboard lap of a Williams hurtling around the circuit.
The circuit layout shows a pit straight similar in feel to Las Vegas, Saudi Arabia, or even Vietnam – the first corner is a slow left-hander leading straight into a right-hander that arcs around and eases off to become a long straight.
Following a gentle curve to the right, the drivers will fling their cars through a fast left kink before climbing into a medium-speed right-left-right chicane that opens out onto another short straight.
The next section is a very interesting-looking long, fast right-hander that loops back 180 degrees upon itself – similar in feel but exceeding the duration of Schievlak at Zandvoort – before leading into a sequence of esses.
A slower-speed right-hander calms everything back down again before a deluge of near 90-degree corners completes the lap.
But, at the moment, it’s hard to identify where some overtaking zones may be – the start/finish straight feels a little short to encourage overtaking into Turn 1, while the fast sweeps before the tight right-hander in the middle part of the track invite growing the gaps between cars.
The jury’s out – what do you think of Madrid’s new F1 track? Watch the full onboard video below!
Someone say Madrid GP hotlap? 👀🇪🇸
Who’s excited to see this one hit the @F1 calendar in 2026? 🙌
— WILLIAMS ΞSPORTS (@WilliamsEsports) January 24, 2024