New Spanish Grand Prix

There are plans to bring the Spanish Grand Prix back to Madrid starting from 2027, potentially replacing the current venue in Barcelona. A circuit at the IFEMA exhibition centre is being considered for the iconic race.

The contract between Formula One and the organizers of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is set to expire after the 2026 race. Enrique López, a politician and Secretary General of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, has been working to bring motorsport back to the capital city.

From 1968 to 1981, the Spanish round of the Formula One World Championship took place nine times at the Jarama circuit, located approximately 40 kilometers northeast of Madrid’s city center. During this time, the Grand Prix alternated between Madrid and the street circuit of Montjuïc.

Since 1991 to the present day, the Grand Prix has been held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Madrid races at Jarama circuit

The Jarama circuit in Spain hosted the Spanish round of the Formula One World Championship on nine occasions. Located near Madrid, the Jarama circuit provided a challenging and picturesque setting for some memorable Formula One races during that era.

The Jarama circuit made its Formula One debut in 1968, hosting the Spanish Grand Prix for the first time. The circuit, known for its twisty and undulating nature, presented a unique technical challenge to drivers and teams.

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Memorable F1 moments in Madrid

Over the years, the Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama witnessed several iconic moments in Formula One history.

In 1969, the race saw the debut of future world champion Jackie Stewart’s Tyrrell team. Stewart went on to win the race, marking a successful start for the newly-formed team.

The 1970 Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama was notable for being the first race in which team orders were imposed to manipulate the final result. Jacky Ickx, driving for Ferrari, was instructed to slow down to allow his teammate Clay Regazzoni to take the victory. This controversial decision caused much debate within the sport.

In 1973, the Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama witnessed a thrilling battle between two legendary drivers, Emerson Fittipaldi and Jackie Stewart. The duo fought fiercely for the lead, with Fittipaldi ultimately emerging victorious, securing his first-ever win at the circuit.

In 1975, Jarama provided the backdrop for Niki Lauda’s dominant victory in his Ferrari. Lauda showcased his exceptional skill and determination, lapping all but three of his rivals on his way to a commanding win.

The 1981 Spanish Grand Prix marked the final race held at Jarama before the event moved to a new venue in Jerez after a four year absence from the F1 calendar. The race was won by Gilles Villeneuve in his Ferrari, securing a memorable victory for the charismatic Canadian driver.

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A new Grand Prix in Spain

José Vicente de los Mozos, President of IFEMA (Institución Ferial de Madrid), confirmed the plans for Formula One during an economic forum. He expressed the organization’s vision to provide the ultimate experience for Grand Prix fans in Europe, stating that no other venue offers such a diverse space as IFEMA.

IFEMA is Spain’s premier exhibition center, established in 1980 by the Community of Madrid, the Madrid Chamber of Commerce, and the Caja Madrid savings bank.

Since relocating in 1991, the facility has undergone gradual expansions and currently features a dozen exhibition halls, covering an impressive surface area of 970,000 square meters, equivalent to 135 football pitches. Its convenient location, just ten minutes from Barajas Airport, along with its accessible metro and motorway connections, adds to its appeal.

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Negotiations to host F1

While José Vicente de los Mozos could not provide further details regarding the negotiations with Formula One due to their confidential nature, he revealed that a significant project has been developed in collaboration with the Community of Madrid and the City Council.

“[Negotiations] are confidential.” says Mozos,

“But together with the Autonomous Community of Madrid and the City Council, we have designed a great project that will establish Madrid as a hub for sporting and leisure events.”

The aim is to establish Madrid as a central hub for sports and leisure events. De los Mozos expressed confidence in finalizing the relevant contracts with Formula One, emphasizing the positive impact it will have on the city.

Additionally, an “F1 Exhibition” will be held at the IFEMA site from March 2023 until the end of August, marking the first exhibition organized directly by Formula One itself.

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Alternating Spanish GP with Barcelona

It is unlikely that Spain will host two Formula One races in the same year, as was the case between Barcelona and Valencia from 2008 to 2012, due to the global interest in the sport.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has confirmed that there will not be two races in Spain. Instead, a possible scenario is alternating between Madrid and Barcelona as hosts for the premier racing series from 2027 onwards. 

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