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FIA

Madrid F1 project still lacking vital steps, FIA cautions

Talk of a potential Grand Prix in Madrid is still far off, according to the President of Spanish motorsport, and key FIA figure.

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Vital steps needed for the Spanish Grand Prix to move to Madrid are still lacking, the FIA has cautioned after recent speculation.

It emerged last week that the Spanish GP could move from Barcelona as soon as 2026 to a street track in Madrid, near the IFEMA complex that hosted the F1 Exhibition in the northeast of the city.

However, despite claims of an imminent announcement that Barcelona would lose the Grand Prix it has held since 1991, the FIA President of the Senate Carmelo Sanz de Borres, who is also president of the Spanish Automobile Federation, indicated that crucial steps were still needed before any announcement could be made.

'The process is not being followed'

"I have been following all the noise in the press, and all I can say is that as a Spanish guy that was born in Madrid, I want to have Formula 1 in Madrid again," de Borres told select media including RacingNews365 at the FIA prize giving gala in Baku.

"We had the last one in 1981, and having Formula 1 in Madrid, it is the desire of many people.

"There is a clear two-year process to having a Grand Prix in a place, and I don't think that the process is being followed and the steps of the process have been taken.

"Who is the authority? The sporting authority in our country in the case of Spain is the Spanish Automobile Federation and this is where the processes start.

"Wherever there is a new competition that wants to happen in our country, you go to but, but the Spanish Federation has not received a project to be analysed to study and focus [on the proposals]. They have not seen it.

"This first step has not happened, and when the Spanish Federation consider that this is a valid program that they are interested in, they channel to the FIA.

"We are talking about a semi-urban circuit and the first thing that you have to do is homologate, certify and who is doing all of this? The FIA.

"Then when you have all things, there is still another step, and that is the big battle, now more than of a few years ago, of being included on the calendar, because there is a waiting list.

"It has to be approved, that one of the 22-24 races is going to happen in Madrid, which is another part of the process that has not happened yet."

More than one Grand Prix in Spain

de Borres also touched upon the possibility of Barcelona and Madrid both hosting Grands Prix, and pointed to the fact that there are currently three races in the United States and two in Italy as reason why it was a possibility.

"You have the commercial agreement, the TV rights and maybe in that case, we would have started [building] the house with the roof, but I am not saying 'No', I am saying that [as it stands], the Spanish Federation, as the authority in Spain, nor the FIA have received any documents on this project," he said.

"When they receive it, we will study it. We will try, but there is a process to respect and other people waiting, and we also have the Spanish political situation with the government.

"Can Spain have two races on the calendar? Yes, as we have three in the US and two in Italy so why not?

"Is it easy, no. It is possible, but I don't think it is going to be an easy thing, but I think the way it has been positioned is not correct.

"We've also had experience in the past when we where trying to bring the 2036 Olympic Games to Madrid, due to leaks and not following process, theat will not happen, but I would love to have a race in Madrid.

"It is not the only project to have Formula 1 in Madrid, I know of at least another two, but this is all I can share at the moment."

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