Madrid to rival Barcelona as host city for F1’s Spanish Grand Prix

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali met with officials in the Spanish capital last week

Kieran Jackson
Formula 1 Correspondent
Monday 27 March 2023 15:42 BST
First official Formula 1 exhibition opens in Madrid

Madrid has emerged as a potential host of the Spanish Grand Prix after talks in the Spanish capital last week.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which will run with a reconfigured track layout this year, has hosted the Spanish GP since 1991.

While Barcelona has a contract to host the race until 2026, Madrid could become the latest illustrious city to join the calendar from that point onwards and is seen in some quarters as being the favourite.

Spain is unlikely to host more than one race a season, meaning Madrid would replace Barcelona if it were to join the ever-growing calendar.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali met with city officials last week at the opening of the Formula 1 Exhibition in Madrid.

“They are working to bring a race [to Madrid],” Domenicali said. “F1 is delighted to have so many contenders because it is becoming more and more popular all over the world.

“We know the passion in Spain – I have worked with Fernando [Alonso] and I know him well. It’s a pleasure to see how the interest keeps growing in Spain also for Carlos [Sainz]. We know the interest from Madrid, the same from Barcelona, and it’s great news for us.

Barcelona has hosted the Spanish Grand Prix since 1991 (Getty)

“You can never say never in life, of course, but two races in Spain is very complicated.

“There is great interest [from Madrid], but it is also true that we are focused at the moment on Barcelona, which has a contract, and the relationship is strong.”

Spain has hosted two races in a single season in the sport’s recent history. Alongside Barcelona, a street circuit in Valencia hosted the now defunct European Grand Prix from 2008-2012.

The Circuito del Jarama, 20 miles north of Madrid, hosted the Spanish Grand Prix in 1981. It is unclear at this stage if a race in Madrid would be held at Jarama or on the city’s streets.

This year’s race takes place on 4 June; Max Verstappen won last year’s event, while Lewis Hamilton is a joint-record six-time winner in Barcelona.

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