Politicians in Madrid have clashed over the expected arrival of Formula 1 in the city with one politician accusing the other of being more interested in photos in a Ferrari than politics.
A report emerged this week that Barcelona was set to lose out from 2026 as the Spanish Grand Prix moves to the capital of Madrid.
The report went on to suggest official confirmation would come next week but politicians of the Madrid Assembly have already been discussing the proposed race.
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Barcelona currently has a contract until 2026 meaning it is not out of the question that two races in the country will be held in that year but the assumption is that after that, Madrid will be the new home of Formula 1 in Spain.
The proposed five-kilometre circuit would use the IFEMA pavilion complex and fairgrounds, home of the first F1 Exhibition earlier this year, as its start-finish straight before passing the former grounds of the Mad Cool music festival as well as Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training complex.
The bid has received the support of Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the president of the Community, and the mayor of Madrid José Luis Martínez-Almeida and with a projected €500 million a year economic impact to the city, it is clear why government officials were in favour of the idea.
But support is not universal from the political sphere of Madrid with the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party criticising the mayor for “thinking about her photo in a Ferrari F1 car” rather than the needs of the city.
The criticism was led by Juan Lobato who said that the area of Valdebebas “will have Formula 1 before a medical centre, institute or interchange.”
President of the Community Díaz Ayuso defend the proposed by suggesting it was a private venture.
“I’m not the one building Formula 1. If it comes, it would be a private initiative, so find out a little more,” she said.
“And I already know that they are not going to be happy for Madrid, for achieving a great achievement like F1. They were not happy when 12 public hospitals were built, the M-30 was buried or bilingualism arrived in schools.
“Because the left in Madrid has been going against it for decades and sees everything in black and white. Every time good news arrives for Madrid… bad, because it is something that leaves you in the opposition.”