15th April 2024
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Madrid to host Formula One race from 2026 around IFEMA exhibition centre

A grand prix in Madrid will join the Formula One calendar from 2026 on a track that will include street and non-street sections around the city’s IFEMA exhibition centre.

F1 president Stefano Domenicali was in Madrid for the official announcement on Tuesday of the multi-year deal that will bring the series back to the Madrid region more than 40 years after it last hosted F1.

The Spanish capital signed a contract with F1 until 2035. The city made the announcement in a lavish ceremony at the exhibition centre.

Barcelona’s current contract with F1 ends in 2026. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been hosting the Spanish Grand Prix since 1991.

The new 5.4 kilometre circuit, which still needs to be approved by FIA, is expected to feature 20 corners. F1 said the circuit will include a paddock building, a new race tower, office spaces, VIP hospitality and entertainment areas.

The last F1 race in the Madrid region was in 1981 at the Jarama circuit. The Jerez de la Frontera track in Andalusia hosted races from 1986-90, and in 1994 and 1997.

The country also hosted the European Grand Prix on a street circuit in Valencia from 2008-12.

The contract with Barcelona was extended to 2026 five years ago after the track committed to improvements ahead of the 2022 season.

Spanish media said there were negotiations between F1 and Barcelona to have Madrid taking its spot on the calendar in 2026. Barcelona organisers have said they hoped to extend their contract with F1 beyond 2026.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen won last year’s Spanish GP at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

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