Jarno Zaffelli: The designer of the semi-urban F1 circuit in Madrid: “Let the people be calm; Madrid will not be like Valencia” | Formula 1 | Sports

One of the most frequent questions that Jarno Zaffelli, the visible face of Dromo, the studio in charge of designing the Madrid circuit, has had to answer concerns Valencia and its grandiose, but short-lived, commitment to Formula 1. And no only because of the emphasis with which the conversations with Liberty Media, promoter of the World Cup, were telegraphed, in the manner of the overexposure of Rita Barberá and Francisco Camps, mayor of Valencia and president of the Valencian Community, when the championship landed there in 2008. This course which should have been a source of pride for the Valencians ran through the back room of the hangars of the port of the town of Turia and bordered an area of ​​cabins which had nothing to do with the glamor that was given to it: this required a circuit that had to resemble that of Monaco.

The one in Madrid will not pass, even remotely, near the main tourist attractions of Madrid, but will pass through a practically industrial area intended for fairs. However, Zaffelli believes that the peculiarities of the environment offered by the Ifema Pavilion area and the Valdebebas pitch gave his working group the opportunity to create something completely unique. “F1 fans have repeatedly told me: please, let’s not do the same thing as in Valencia. But let people rest assured, Madrid will not be like Valencia. In fact, because we didn’t design Valencia,” explains Zafelli in a telephone interview with EL PAÍS.

Dromo has extensive experience in the field of layout design and projection. His most recent work is the renovation of the Zandvoort circuit in Holland. From there was born the idea of ​​the inclined curve, in the manner of American ovals, the slope of which still remains to be defined. This aspect, like others, will not be defined until more details are known about the new regulations which must come into play in 2026. “Ifema never told us how it wanted the circuit of the point of view of the route. They only told us that they wanted unique, effective and sustainable proposals, which would last over time,” underlines the technician whose company has just completed the renovation work at Mugello.

“The cornerstone of our proposition has always been to capture the attention of fans. That’s why we designed the curves with the intention that the stands are as close as possible,” continues Zaffelli, who considers the Ifema facilities a unique attraction. So much so that the assembly of the teams’ tents will be done inside, so that the grandiose hospitality European events. “The deployment will be like in transoceanic races,” emphasizes Zaffelli.

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