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Madrid to Host F1 Grand Prix from 2026: A Sneak Peek into the New Circuit

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Formula 1 enthusiasts can look forward to a new venue on the calendar from the 2026 season as Madrid joins the host cities. The F1 Gran Premio D’Espana will find its home around the IFEMA Madrid exhibition center in the Barajas district, just 16 kilometers from the city center and conveniently close to Adolfo Suarez airport. The venue will be split across two primary zones, with one around IFEMA’s existing Recinto Ferial site and the other through the Valdebebas northern expansion area.

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The layout, a result of collaboration between F1 and IFEMA, boasts a 5.474km, 20-turn track with an estimated qualifying lap time of around 1 minute 32 seconds.

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Craig Wilson names sections in the F1 Madrid circuit to look out for

F1’s Head of Vehicle Performance, Craig Wilson, shared insights into the extensive process that led to the final design, stating “From the very first suggestion to where we’ve ended up, there’s been about 24 track models, but then there’s been numerous sub-model investigations and different details as well.

Wilson describes the track further as he adds “We’ve now got a concept that we’re happy to proceed development with and we’re very excited to see it take shape. It’s a layout that features everything from fast sweeps to tight chicanes, and lengthy straights to short bursts of the throttle, offering a varied experience for those behind the wheel. “I think it will be a good challenge for the drivers.

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Craig Wilson discusses the F1 Madrid circuit

Wilson highlighted a specific section of the F1 track from Turn 7 to Turn 9, described as “quite steeply downhill” due to the elevation changes, making it an area to watch. Additionally, the large radius Turn 10 has the potential to be banked, sparking discussions about the degree of banking and profile to enhance overtaking opportunities at Turns 11 and 12. The stretch from Turn 13 to Turn 17, characterized by high-speed sections between buildings and grandstands are touted to captivate both drivers and fans.

Unlike a traditional street circuit or a permanent setup, the Madrid circuit will use both public roads and private land, offering a unique blend of environments. One distinctive feature is the elevated motorway between the two zones, incorporating two short tunnel sections for seamless transitions. The pit lane garages will be split on either side of the central section, extending into the IFEMA halls, allowing for parts of the paddock to be housed indoors.

While the F1 announced the race in Madrid for the 2026 season, there is much work ahead. The next steps involve transitioning from concept to detailed design development, gaining FIA approval, safety assessments, and achieving a Grade 1 track license. Construction will follow, with meticulous planning for infrastructure, garages, paddock layout, and system integration. As the journey begins, the anticipation builds for the inaugural race at Madrid’s exciting new circuit.

Read more: Could Formula E pose as the ultimate challenge to Formula 1, even after adopting new power units by 2026?

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Saswata Saha
Saswata Saha
I'm a sports enthusiast with a strong interest in pursuing a career in sports. I watch most of the sports and try to analyse it for a better understanding.
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