FormulaNerds Cut To The Race Podcast

Start of race of Spanish GP, 8th round of FIA Formula 1 World Championship in Circuit de Catalunya, Montmelo, Catalunya, Spain, 04/06/23

What does Madrid F1 deal mean for the future of Barcelona track?

Formula 1 has struck a deal to have Madrid hosting the Spanish Grand Prix from 2026 onwards

Latest Episode | Cut To The Race Podcast

Formula 1 announced that the Spanish Grand Prix will move to Madrid in 2026. However, CEO Stefano Domenicali has ruled out an exit for the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen (L) and Ferrari's Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr (R) take the start of the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix race at the Circuit de Catalunya on June 4, 2023 in Montmelo, on the outskirts of Barcelona.
Formula 1 has been racing in Barcelona since 1991 (Image Credit: LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Formula 1 has been racing in Barcelona since 1991, making it Spain’s home race. However, 2023 saw Madrid looking set to replace it as the Spanish Grand Prix.

This rumour became a reality, signing a deal until 2035 and starting to race there from 2026 onwards. Madrid will be another street race, expanding the pool of street races on the calendar.

Can Barcelona stay on the calendar?

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been a staple track of the Formula 1 calendar since its introduction in 1991. The track has also been useful for pre-season testing – with the variety of corners it offered.

More recently, the track changed its layout in 2023. The final chicane was removed for a flat-out corner in the hope of more overtaking opportunities going into Turn One.

Despite the recent news of Madrid, Barcelona still has the opportunity to stay on the calendar. it would not be the first time where Spain has hosted two races in a calendar year. The European Grand Prix ran at Jerez in 1994 and 1997. Valencia also hosted races between 2008 and 2012.

55 Carlos Sainz of Spain, Scuderia Ferrari, SF-23 - Ferrari, action 14 Fernando Alonso of Spain, Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant, AMR23 - Mercedes, action during the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix of the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship from 2 to 5 of March, 2023. Bahrain International Circuit, in Sakhir, Bahrain.
Formula 1 has two Spanish drivers in Alonso and Sainz (Image Credit: Gongora/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

However, the main problem is that the calendar is getting more premium, as multiple venues sign long-term deals.

Domenicali has not ruled out the possibility of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to stay on the calendar, whilst speaking to the Formula 1 website:

“For the avoidance of doubt and to clarify here, the fact we are in Madrid is not excluding the fact we could stay in Barcelona for the future.

“Looking ahead, there are discussions in place to see if we can really extend our collaboration with Barcelona, with whom we have a very good relationship, for the future.”

Healthy interest in Spain

The Italian also stressed about the increase of interest for the sport in Spain. Currently, there are two Spanish drivers on the grid in two-time world champion Fernando Alonso and Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz.

“Spain was a market that just a couple of years ago, was not in the centre of our eyes,” he said.

“Now it is very important. We signed a new deal with Spanish broadcaster DAZN until at least the end of 2026. It’s a nice problem to have, to have multiple cities – some in the same country – wanting to host a grand prix.

“It shows the value of our proposition. But we need to keep focused on the reason for our success, and make sure we aren’t complacent.”

Feature Image Credit: Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Back to the top