Formula 1 has announced that the Spanish Grand Prix will take place in Madrid from the 2026 season, with the future of Barcelona's race uncertain.
As part of a multi-year deal lasting until 2035, a 5.47km part street circuit at the IFEMA entertainment complex, near Barajas airport, is to join the calendar but it does not mean that Barcelona has been dropped outright with discussions set to take place over the future of the Catalunya track which has hosted Spain's round of the World Championship every year since 1991.
Lap-times are expected to be in the 1m:32 region in qualifying with over 100,000 fans able to be accommodated.
Catalunya did have a contract which lasted until 2026, but rumours of a Grand Prix in Madrid first surfaced last year, with RacingNews365 revealing the prospect last July.
In December, key FIA figure and boss of Spanish motorsport Carmelo Sanz de Borres cautioned that key steps of the process in bringing F1 to Madrid were still lacking, but F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali was joined by the president of IFEMA Madrid José Vicente de los Mozos to announce the new event.
The IFEMA complex was home to the F1 Exhibition that displayed the remains of Romain Grosjean chassis from the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, which has since moved onto Vienna in Austria.
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"Madrid is an incredible city with amazing sporting and cultural heritage, and today’s announcement begins an exciting new chapter for F1 in Spain," explained F1 Stefano Domenicali.
"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."
Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the FIA president added that: "modern Formula 1 cars racing on a new circuit in the Spanish capital city of Madrid is an enticing prospect.
"As we build towards the introduction of the FIA 2026 Formula 1 regulations, which have been framed with Net Zero carbon by 2030 in mind, it is pleasing to see that the local organisers have placed a sharp focus on environmental sustainability in their plans for the event.
"As is customary, the proposed circuit will be subject to FIA homologation and safety checks and calendar approval by the World Motor Sport Council."