F1 to race in Madrid from 2026

Formula 1 has announced the Spanish Grand Prix will move to Madrid from 2026, taking place on a semi-permanent track within the Spanish capital.

Barcelona has been home to the race since 1991, and currently has a contract through 2026 after committing to track upgrades at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. However, that deal now appears uncertain as discussions about its future continue following confirmation the Spanish GP will move to Madrid, returning to the region for the first time since 1981 when the grand prix used to be held at Jarama.

The new race will be held around the IFEMA exhibition and events venue to the northeast of the city center, with the track stretching to 5.47km and promised to be a mix of both street and non-street sections. The yet-to-be finalized layout will incorporate 20 turns with a projected qualifying lap of 1m32s.


Race organizers are targeting an initial capacity of 110,000 spectators per day, rising to 140,000 during the ten-year contract to become one of the larger venues on the F1 calendar. F1 predicts that 90% of fans will be able to reach the circuit via public transport due to the connections with rail and metro lines and its close proximity to the city’s main airport.

“Madrid is an incredible city with amazing sporting and cultural heritage, and today’s announcement begins an exciting new chapter for F1 in Spain,” F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said.

“I would like to thank the team at IFEMA MADRID, the Regional Government of Madrid and the city’s Mayor for putting together a fantastic proposal that epitomizes Formula 1’s vision to create a multi-day spectacle of sport and entertainment that maximizes values for fans, whilst embracing innovation and sustainability.”

The president of the region of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, says the arrival of the race will have a major economic impact.

“It is with great satisfaction that we announce Formula 1 is coming to the Community of Madrid, to a region and a capital that inspires openness and confidence within and beyond our borders,” Díaz Ayuso said. “We are the main engine of Spain’s prosperity and progress. This event, which we expect to be followed on a global scale by 70 million people, will represent an increase of more than 450 million euros in Madrid’s GDP per year and the creation of 8,200 jobs.

“The Community of Madrid is a region with a great international projection, open, plural and competitive, and F1 will contribute to further consolidate the Madrid brand among the best in the world.”

Should Barcelona still host a race in 2026 it will not be the first time Spain has held two grands prix in the same year, as Valencia was also part of the calendar at the height of Fernando Alonso’s popularity from 2008 until 2012.

Story originally appeared on Racer