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Formula 1

Hill questions F1's trend towards 'Formula E style circuits'

A new street circuit in Madrid is to host the Spanish Grand Prix from 2026 after agreeing a deal with F1.

Damon Hill
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Damon Hill believes Formula 1 is heading in the direction of Formula E with its recent push for street tracks after the Madrid Grand Prix announcement.

On Tuesday, it was announced that from 2026, F1 would hold the Spanish Grand Prix on the streets of the capital, winding around the IFEMA entertainment complex, with Barcelona losing the race.

The news was met with some scepticism after a steady rise in the number of street tracks over recent years, such as Saudi Arabia, Las Vegas and Miami, with popular permanent circuits such as Hockenheim, Sepang and Istanbul Park falling off the calendar.

In 2024, eight of the 24 races are to be run on street tracks, with the rise following FE's ethos of racing in city centres, with a new Tokyo E-Prix set to debut in Season 10 of the electric racing championship.

1996 World Champion Hill feels F1's recent trend has been towards FE's style, on what he called "restricted circuits."

"This kind of move towards a tighter, twisty circuit, it is going in the direction of Formula E, which has chosen to have its races in city centres and also on very restricted circuits," said Hill on the Sky Sports F1 podcast.

"I hope that is not an indication of a concession made towards the fact that these cars are going to be down on performance compared to now.

"With the race in Las Vegas, we had a very annoyed Max Verstappen talking about the nature of circuits and the kind of circuits he'd like to race on.

"The fact is that Formula 1 has to adapt to new demands made on it from the car manufacturing point of view as well as governments imposing environmental questions, so it is challenged in that direction.

"But I hope it will be an exciting circuit, the most important thing is that the racing is exciting and that the cars can race on there."

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