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Madrid to host F1’s Spanish Grand Prix from 2026

Featured image credit: Formula 1

Formula 1 has announced today (Tuesday) that Madrid will join the calendar in 2026, with the race to take place on a circuit that will incorporate both street and non-street sections.

F1’s deal with IFEMA Madrid will see the Spanish Grand Prix take place in the capital until 2035. The 5.47km circuit will be built around the IFEMA exhibition centre and will feature 20 corners.

Madrid will replace Barcelona as the host of the Spanish Grand Prix. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has hosted the event since 1991 and the BBC has reported that F1 is in talks over the possibility of it retaining a spot on the calendar alongside the new race in Madrid. F1 did not mention Barcelona in today’s announcement.

Madrid last staged the Spanish Grand Prix in 1981, when the Circuito del Jarama racetrack played host. The new track will be split across two primary zones, with the first spanning IFEMA’s existing Recinto Ferial site and the second running through the Valdebebas northern expansion area, which will eventually be served by a new subway line.

F1 said the layout of the circuit will be similar to the Miami Grand Prix, with some areas resembling a street circuit and others a more permanent set-up. Once completed, the track will be located next to the Real Madrid Sport City training ground complex.

The Madrid circuit is projected to have capacity to host more than 110,000 fans per day across grandstands, general admission and VIP hospitality. There are plans to grow the daily capacity to 140,000 over the first half of the agreement, which would make Madrid one of the largest venues on the F1 calendar.

F1 said the race will also become one of the most accessible on the calendar, with the circuit to be located five minutes from the Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez airport. It is estimated that 90% of fans will be able to travel to the event via public transport.

The Spanish Grand Prix will also seek to become one of the most sustainable events on the calendar, with IFEMA Madrid having reduced its carbon emissions over the last five years and moved to 100% certified renewable energy across its exhibition halls. Any temporary structure built for the race will be constructed using recyclable materials.

The race week will also include fan activations in Downtown Madrid, with F1 projecting that the event will have a €450m (£385m/$489m) impact on the city’s economy each year. The racetrack is subject to International Automobile Federation (FIA) homologation and final design specification.

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

“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. It truly epitomises Formula 1’s vision to create a multi-day spectacle of sport and entertainment that delivers maximum value for fans and embraces innovation and sustainability.”

Jose Vicente de los Mozos, president of the executive committee of IFEMA Madrid, added: “Our dream of hosting a major F1 event around IFEMA Madrid has come true. We are thrilled to announce the return of F1 to Madrid after more than four decades.

“We have the ambition to organise a grand prix that will become a reference in the F1 worldwide calendar, specifically conceptualised and designed to offer a distinctive and unique experience for both fans and teams participating in the competition. With this, Madrid wants to deep dive into the development of a new concept that combines sport and entertainment, while delivering a memorable event.”