Formula 1 will return to Madrid in 2026 with a street circuit in Ifema | Formula 1 | Sports

Formula 1 will arrive in Madrid from 2026, no less than 45 years after the competition’s last visit to Jarama (1981). The official announcement had been delayed for months, but this Tuesday an event finally took place at Ifema with the presence of Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO of Formula 1; Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of the Community, and José Luis Martínez-Almeida, mayor of the capital. The agreement, which already has the approval of all parties involved, both Liberty Media, promoter of the championship, as well as the Community, chaired by Ayuso, and the City Hall, under the command of Almeida, has a duration of 10 years. which ensures the competition from 2026 to 2035, and its celebration will mean an annual income of 450 million euros for Madrid.

In its first edition, the Spanish GP which will take place in Madrid will coexist with what is until now the circuit that hosts this event, Montmeló, and which will be renamed differently. The Barcelona-Catalonia Circuit holds the Spanish Grand Prix until 2026, which raises two possible scenarios. The first would consist of making Montmeló and Madrid coexist for a year, before the Catalan route stops organizing a test which has been taking place there since 1991. This is the only scenario envisaged in Catalonia, which ensures that the race will take place in Montmeló, for at least the next three years. A second scenario could involve the Circuit withdrawing from the 2026 edition, in exchange for some compensation. Regardless, and although it does not seem possible that the two events coexist beyond this possible specific case, given the list of candidates to enter the circle and Liberty’s desire to export the Great Circus towards countries outside Europe, today Domenicali He did not want to exclude any scenario and aims to try an agreement to extend the contract with Catalonia. “For the avoidance of doubt and to clarify things, the fact that we are in Madrid does not exclude that we can stay in Barcelona in the future. As for the future, discussions are underway to see if we can really expand our collaboration with Barcelona, ​​with whom we have very good relations,” he assured. This very morning, the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès said he was confident in the possibility of extending the marriage with Formula 1: “We are working for Catalonia and beyond the fact that the F1 organization can conclude agreements with other cities, we continue to work to extend beyond 2026 the celebration of the event in Montmeló. It has been celebrated in Catalonia for more than 30 years and the work with the organization is positive. We move forward, without comparing ourselves to anyone. We seek to build our own references.

Isabel Díaz Ayuso, during her speech at Ifema.JAVIER SORIANO (AFP)

The preliminary project of the Madrid circuit, awaiting approval by the FIA, will have a length of 5,474 km, 20 bends, 8 overpasses, 2 tunnels, 4 overtaking points, a spectacular curve and peaks of speed reaching speeds of up to 300 kilometers per minute. hour. The qualifying round will be 1 minute and 32 seconds. 110,000 spectators will be able to attend the motoring event in the first year, but it is expected to reach 140,000 in the fifth year. The route would use the roads of Ifema Madrid, both from the current site and from that of Valdebebas, in addition to only 1.5 km of public roads, according to a press release from the Madrid site, which will provide “unprecedented spaces” in F1, like paddock covered and air-conditioned. “Madrid will prepare an event that will go down in the history of Formula 1,” Domenicali said.

Ayuso, for his part, promised “10,000 direct jobs, more indirect” thanks to Formula 1 and avoided commenting on what he called last weekend “the lack of interest of the Sánchez government” in the start of the event. . From the opposition, Más Madrid, through its leader in the Regional Assembly, Manuela Bergerot, showed her doubts about the project and announced that they would raise them in the chamber to “avoid embezzlement” and that the The car test would never end. “Madrileños.” In the same sense, Juan Lobato, spokesperson for the PSOE in Parliament, recently highlighted that Valdebebas, which lacks a “health center, institute or interchange”, will have Formula 1 sooner. and supervise every euro”, but President Ayuso has always declared that the Community of Madrid “will not contribute to this price with public funds”.

The presentation, carried out in a festive atmosphere at Ifema pavilion number two, included more than 500 guests, a light show and electronic music. José Vicente de los Mozos, president of the executive committee of the event center, praised the new Madrid circuit. “It will be the best-served Grand Prix by public transport in the entire competition and neutral in carbon emissions, fully aligned with sustainable development policies,” he said. Ifema expressed in a press release that the long duration of the event offers “the necessary horizon to ensure the return of investments and therefore promotes the economic viability of this important project.” The last time Formula 1 cars raced on the streets of Madrid was in 1981, at the Jarama circuit (San Sebastián de los Reyes), 30 kilometers from the capital. After nine consecutive editions, the circuit closed its doors due to the economic deficit it caused for the organizers. The last race was won by Gilles Villeneuve.

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