The growth in popularity Formula 1 has received has seen a surge in venues looking to secure contracts to host Grand Prix. Aside from the sporting aspect, cities and even countries are attracted by the financial boost the sport brings. With that in mind, reports of a race in Madrid have become increasingly common in F1 news.
Catalunya’s Barcelona circuit has been the site of the Spanish GP for several years, with their current contract securing their place on the F1 calendar until the 2026 season.
However, in a sport where increasingly influential stakeholders want to make their mark, a race at the Spanish capital in Madrid is also under consideration.
Whilst there is no guarantee of which circuit on the current calendar it would replace, the general expectation is that a Grand Prix in Madrid would threaten Barcelona’s slot in Formula 1.
Jose Vicente de los Mozos, president of the IFEMA (Fair Institution of Madrid), revealed in early summer that a deal to join the schedule was only a matter of time:
“I know when we’re going to sign it and when we’re going to do it.
“We have followed the process indicated to us. The Spanish Federation was informed from the first moment,” Autosport quoted him as saying.
“We have signed exclusivity, and we are advancing with the contract.”
These quotes are not necessarily definitive, as various factors can impact an agreement negatively before a signature is signed on the dotted line.
Speaking of signatures, former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya revealed in a recent interview that Barranquilla, Colombia, was on the verge of signing a contract to join the calendar in 2025.
This is consistent with reports from F1 news outlets last year, which alleged that Stefano Domenicali and the FIA had visited the region to discuss a potential GP.
However, according to the Colombian, a last-minute issue stopped this process in its tracks. Montoya explains that “what is now happening in Madrid” (i.e. negotiations to host a race) would have taken place in Colombia.
In any case, the current situation is that Madrid is well-placed to join the calendar in two years’ time – with next year’s calendar already set in stone.
Suggestions for a rotational calendar have been made in recent years. Though it is not certain this will be implemented, it seems likely there will be winners and losers as competition for an F1 contract intensifies.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang