The announcement of Formula 1’s new circuit in Madrid joining the calendar from the 2026 season is expected next week.
The Spanish Grand Prix, held at the Montmelo circuit since 1991, has an agreement in place until that date. Therefore, it remains to be seen if there will be two races in Spain in 2026 or if the new round in the capital will be postponed to the following season.
According to Marca, the “not-so-secret secret” will be officially unveiled next week by the President of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, as hinted in her New Year’s speech: “On January 23, there will be an announcement about F1,” she stated on New Year’s Eve.
The announcement has also been confirmed by Mayor José Luis Martínez Almeida. According to the Spanish sports newspaper, the event at the trade fair district will be attended by Díaz Ayuso, the mayor, José Luis Martínez Almeida, and presumably, Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.
The circuit will feature an elevated curve located near the Real Madrid Sports City, just outside the IFEMA fairgrounds area through an underpass of the M-11 highway (access highway to Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport, also known as Avda. Manuel Azaña).
The route will include a section inside IFEMA. The finish line will be located on Dublin Road, and the pit lane, pits, and paddock will be situated at the main entrance of Madrid’s trade fair complex.
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For several years, Formula 1 has shown particular interest in urban circuit bids over permanent tracks, especially as the presence of the quintessential city race (Monaco) is increasingly questioned.
A Trend Favorable to Second-Generation Power Units?
This type of circuit aligns with the architecture of second-generation turbo-hybrid power units designed to deliver half of the overall power from the hybrid component. It is evident that circuits like Monza, Spa, and Las Vegas could pose challenges in electric power delivery during long flat-out stretches. Last week, the editorial team of formula1.it had the exclusive opportunity to interview Modesto Menabue, a technician with 40 years of experience at the Ferrari team and now an opinion leader. Discussing the 2026 regulations, he confirmed some concerns: “I don’t know who writes them. You take power away from the thermal engine to give it to the electric one. You use the thermal engine to recharge. It will be a noisy Formula E. What about fast tracks? How long does the electric last? You struggle halfway down the straight.” – he pointed out.