Spanish Grand Prix: What next for Barcelona as Madrid rumours intensify?

Henry Valantine
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton on track at the Spanish Grand Prix. F1 Barcelona, June 2023.

The Spanish Grand Prix has been held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya since 1991.

The local presidents of Madrid and Barcelona have both weighed in on the prospect of the Spanish capital joining the F1 calendar.

Rumours from Spanish media about a potential Madrid Grand Prix intensified last week, with a potential 2026 arrival date mooted with a semi-urban layout around some of the city’s landmarks.

Barcelona’s current contract to stay in F1 stretches until 2026, but Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has previously expressed reservations about European nations holding two races in the same season beyond that year.

Madrid president speaks out on Spanish Grand Prix possibility

Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of the Community of Madrid, is keen to look after the interests of the Spanish capital in trying to bring the sport there, and is not concerned about Barcelona potentially dropping off the calendar if it means the city she represents is on it.

“Whether or not Formula 1 leaves Barcelona has nothing to do with Madrid,” the city’s president told Spanish publication Marca.

“If an event is in danger at any given moment, I prefer that it stays in Madrid or in another Spanish region before it leaves the country.

“I hope that others know how to be happy for Madrid, because we also have the right to receive investment, even if the government does not help us.”

She also criticised Spain’s central government for their lack of support in negotiations, with the city having taken matters into their own hands for talks with Formula 1.

“We have already reached a point where I am not asking the government for help, simply to leave the Community of Madrid alone,” she elaborated.

“The government is aware of this because there are many people involved in negotiations of this type, but I have not seen the slightest interest on their part in supporting us. The relationship right now between the two administrations is not at its best.” recommends

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In response, Catalonia’s president Pere Aragonès is confident in the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya not only fulfilling the remaining years on its contract with Formula 1, but he explained that talks are ongoing about keeping it on the calendar beyond 2026.

He insists “the relationship is good” between the Catalan government and Formula 1, and hopes for it “to continue for a few more years”.

“We will announce it when we have signed it, the rhythms will not be set by outsiders,” Aragonès said to Catalunya Radio in response to Ayuso’s claims about Madrid’s proposed talks and his aims to keep Barcelona on the calendar, as quoted by Marca.

“We are making good progress, the work is positive, and the future of F1 in Montmeló will depend on the Circuit and F1, it will not depend on anything else.”

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