Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 leads Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari SF-23 and the rest of the field into turn one at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 04, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Formula 1 News: Barcelona downplays Madrid GP ‘rumors’ (Update)

(GMM) Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya says it will not give up on hosting the Spanish Grand Prix  Formula 1 race.

It is believed Formula 1 is poised to announce a new addition to the world championship calendar for 2026 – a city race near the Real Madrid training ground in the Spanish capital, with ‘Madrid GP’ trademarks already filed.

The privately-funded event in Madrid would reportedly include a unique indoor section through the Ifema event pavilions and a Zandvoort-style banked corner.

However, Spanish media reports insist that Spain’s FIA-linked sanctioning body RFEDA is yet to receive a formal request for an event data or approve a circuit layout.

But state TV broadcaster RTVE insists that a ten-year contract for a Madrid GP is on the cards, putting in jeopardy the future of the existing Spanish GP in Barcelona – whose own F1 deal is only set to run until 2026.

“We are not going to respond to rumors,” a source at the Circuit de Catalunya told Marca sports newspaper.

“We can only say that right now we are working on having the best Spanish GP possible in 2024, that we have a contract until 2026 inclusive, and that we are working with F1 to extend this agreement for more years.”

The government of Catalonia, meanwhile, also branded talk about Madrid replacing Barcelona on the F1 calendar as “rumors”.

“In no case have the organizers informed us or made any changes official,” said Generalitat de Catalunya spokeswoman Patricia Plaja, according to El Mundo Deportivo newspaper.

But Victor Francos, president of the Consejo Superior de Deportes sports council, admitted that Madrid really does endanger the future of the race in Barcelona.

“It is known that there is a project in Madrid, which Ifema has presented, and that it is a semi-urban circuit which is competing with Barcelona,” he said.

“For the first time, there is an alternative proposal.”

Madrid mayor Jose Luis Martinez Almeida also confirmed the news.

“We are the best city to host F1,” he said. “We have worked through Ifema, but the official confirmation comes from F1.”

When asked if the first Madrid GP would be in 2026, when Barcelona already has a F1 contract, he answered: “We have worked to meet all the requirements, but the final decision is for F1.”

Sources at Ifema, meanwhile – the Madrid events organization and venue – told Europa Press that negotiations with Liberty Media are in the “final phase”, even though the Madrid GP “does not yet have definitive confirmation”.

“Progress is being made and the final decision is a matter for Formula 1,” the source added.

El Mundo newspaper believes “powerful multinationals” also involved in the grands prix in Mexico and Miami are involved in the Madrid GP project.

June 4, 2023 

(GMM) The Circuit de Catalunya needs to up its game in order to keep the Spanish GP.

That is the warning of F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, with the paddock abuzz this weekend about the Spanish GP moving from Barcelona to Madrid for the future.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali

For this weekend, the Circuit de Catalunya scrapped the slow chicane and revived the exciting and treacherous two sweeping right handers.

When asked if he has taken the final sweeper flat-out yet, Max Verstappen joked after qualifying: “You want me to try that one?

“Yeah, over time the cars are improving so I think next year – if we come back – then probably it’s flat.”

‘If’ is currently the big question, even though Barcelona still has three years to run on its current Formula 1 race contract.

“It’s one of our most classic grands prix,” Domenicali told the Spanish daily AS.

“We have conversations, we extended for 2025 and 2026, but there is a need to renew many things, which is what they are doing.

“Our friends in Barcelona know it, I am always very transparent with everyone. The things I see happening now should have come sooner, but that’s ok. They are investing, they are working to improve the experience for the fans.

“We will see. But as I say, competition helps the system to grow.”

Domenicali hit back at the notion that he is becoming a sort of undertaker for some of the most historical circuits in F1 history.

“Not at all,” the Italian said. “Sometimes I read that and laugh.

“History is valuable, but what I am saying is that if you go from historical to old, obsolete, that is very different.”

Domenicali also admitted that “it’s a fact” that a rival bid is now underway with the Madrid project.

“We have contracts to honor,” he insisted. “So in the next, I don’t want to say months but we will make the right decision for the good of the sport.

“But if you ask me if there is room for two grands prix in Spain, I don’t think it’s possible but I don’t want to rule it out.”

One potential solution could be a scheme in which a single annual Spanish GP is alternated between Barcelona and Madrid each year.

“Yes, it’s something we’ll discuss and see about,” said Domenicali. “I do not want to rule it out but it is not the center of the discussion.

“You have to understand how the two projects want to evolve. But what I can guarantee is that Spain will continue to be on the calendar.”

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :