Former F1 test driver Dani Juncadella has called the proposed Madrid Grand Prix layout “ultra-dangerous”, along with “no option to overtake.”
Madrid will take on hosting the Spanish Grand Prix from 2026 on a part-street circuit that will feature a steeply-banked right-hander among its 20 corners, which will also partly circle around the IFEMA exhibition centre in the city.
The first simulations of what the track will look like over a lap have emerged on video games, and the feedback has been mixed – with previous Macau Grand Prix winner Juncadella unimpressed.
Spanish racer worries about ‘ultra-dangerous’ Madrid F1 layout
The 20-turn, 5.474km circuit presented at the announcement of Madrid’s arrival onto the F1 calendar is still subject to FIA homologation and final approval, meaning it’s not set in stone that the sport will be racing around that track specification yet.
But from what he has seen, Juncadella, test driver for Force India and Williams in the past, has drawn comparisons with other circuits to have drawn criticism on the Formula 1 schedule in the past decade or so.
Writing on X above a simulation of a lap around Madrid, Juncadella said: “I don’t say what I think of the circuit because they’ll take me to prison. Oh well no yes I do say it: what a…”, followed by a lavatorial emoji befitting of how he felt about the circuit.
Juncadella followed that with another post explaining his views a little more, expanding by saying what it was about the proposed layout he did not like about the simulated lap.
“No option to overtake,” he wrote.
“Ultra-dangerous layout. Miami, Vegas, Sochi, etc. type piano/wall philosophy. Which I don’t like.
“Luckily this is not the final circuit.
“The GP going to Madrid? I couldn’t care less. [Ada] Colau [former mayor of Barcelona] has been sowing panic among tourists for years.”
Madrid’s new layout will be the first race in the city for 45 years, after having been run at Jarama nine times in the past, the last of which coming in 1981.
Juncadella, a four-time race winner in the GTD Pro class in IMSA last season, posted in response to a fan that he would love to see the Spanish Grand Prix return to its former home, but is unlikely to happen any time soon.
It currently holds an FIA Grade 2 licence, with Grade 1 required to host Formula 1, meaning significant investment would be needed.
“I wish it could be run at Jarama,” Juncadella added.
“It would be [the] BEST. But talking about it with some people who know about it and knowing the current conditions of Jarama (both in terms of circuit and environment), I understand that it is something unthinkable.”