Political sources consider it a done deal that Madrid will host a Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2026 onwards, even without an official announcement. The last race in the capital was in 1981.
The regional political scene is finding it hard to contain the poorly kept secret that Madrid will host a Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2026. Political sources confirm this to AS, awaiting an official announcement that has not yet been made. Similarly, the President of the Community, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, expressed her “enthusiasm” for the ambitious project at an informative breakfast on Tuesday: “No administration or country could reject a project like this for everything it will contribute to the Madrid and Spain brand.”
Ayuso aspires for the Formula 1 Grand Prix hosted by Madrid to become “the best circuit in the world.” It seems, in any case, to be a triumph for the IFEMA project with exclusively private financing to convince Stefano Domenicali and company, making the Spanish capital one of the hotspots on the new calendar, comparable to centers like Miami, Las Vegas, or Singapore. These are the ambitious aspirations for the future Madrid GP, with a semi-urban circuit already planned to wind through the surroundings of the city’s fairground and take advantage of nearby pavilions and spaces.
The event is designed to make the most of hospitality areas, similar to the renowned paddock of the Hard Rock Stadium, using IFEMA facilities. This inclusion in future calendars will indirectly impact the future of the current Spanish GP at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, confirmed until 2026, because the calendar does not allow for more than 24 races per year by regulation (although it can be increased), and F1 and the FIA have hinted that they only want one Grand Prix in Spain. Domenicali himself, CEO of F1, stated to AS in June: “I don’t think, in the medium term, after 2026, we will be in a situation of having two races in Europe in the same country unless something changes and is different.”
A classic on the calendar
The 2026 race should be the first F1 race in Madrid since 1981: Jarama hosted the World Championship with interruptions between 1968 and that season and left victories by Graham Hill, Stewart, Fittipaldi, Lauda, Hunt, Mario Andretti, or Gilles Villeneuve for history. Indeed, this Grand Prix aligns with the two major objectives pursued by Liberty Media for the calendar: it is an event with historical tradition (the Spanish GP has been held for 53 editions, the seventh most ever) but also with a modern design aimed at entertainment, similar to Miami or Las Vegas, in a city with both Latin and European character and immense projection.
Although the political interest is public (the president of the region, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, sent a letter to Stefano Domenicali, CEO of F1, informing about the interest in organizing a race), the organization of the GP Madrid consists of exclusively private capital, and its structure does not resemble that of the Grand Prix organized in Valencia between 2008 and 2012, which ended unsuccessfully after five editions. Regional institutions support it due to the economic impact it will generate in a city that is already a global epicenter for football but has unsuccessfully pursued the Olympic Games. The prize seems different.