Madrid F1 in doubt after FIA official hints two Spanish races unlikely

Madrid F1 in doubt after FIA official hints two Spanish races unlikely

With an official declaration on Madrid F1 anticipated this week, a senior FIA official has hinted that two Spanish races in a season are not out of the question.

The FIA has shot down speculations that an agreement to move the Spanish Grand Prix to Madrid is almost final, saying that the project is still at the critical preliminary stages.

A formal announcement of an F1 race in Madrid was reportedly on the verge of being made, which gave long-standing rumors fresh boost last week. On the other hand, rumors that a contract between Formula 1 and Madrid is imminent have been quashed by the FIA.

The city of Madrid notified Formula One Management [FOM] over a year ago that it intended to host Grand Prix racing on the Spanish capital’s streets in the years to come.

As a result of their commitment, a formal proposal was launched and given the go-ahead by IFEMA, the main conference and convention hub in Madrid run by government agencies, on whose premises an official F1 street circuit would be constructed.

With the Catalonian race having been a part of Formula 1 since 1991, it remains to be seen what will happen to Barcelona while Madrid F1 appears likely to become part of the calendar in 2026.

The F1 Exhibition this year was hosted by IFEMA, which stated last summer that its F1 plans were moving forward in line with the procedure that the event’s organizers had indicated.

On the other hand, rumors that a contract between Formula 1 and Madrid is imminent have been refuted by the FIA.

The FIA Senate President, Carmelo Sanz de Barros, has been speaking lately on the future of Formula 1 racing in his home country. Born and educated in Madrid, Sanz de Barros proposed that the possibility of holding two races in Spain in the same year had not been discounted.

“As a Spaniard, born in Madrid, I want F1 in Madrid again, it is clear,” he said as reported by Spanish newspaper AS. “As president of RACE, the last one was in 1981 (in Jarama) so having F1 in Madrid again is the wish of many people.

“Is it possible to have two races? Yes, why not? We have three in the United States and two in Italy. There have been before.”

He did, however, clarify that before an official declaration can be made, the Spanish Grand Prix relocation proposal is still in its early stages and needs to complete a few crucial steps.

“There is a clear process to have a grand prix in a place, and I don’t think that the process is being followed based on what you read,” de Barros added.

“The Spanish automobile federation is where the process starts, because whenever there is a new competition that wants to happen in a country, you have to go to them.

De Barros stressed that after the proposals for the Madrid F1 are submitted, he and the FIA are willing to review them.

“So, have the Spanish Federation received as of today this project to be analysed, studied and focused? No, they have not seen it,” he said. “This special step has not happened yet.

“Then, when the Spanish federation consider that this project is a valid project and that they are interested, they channel it to where? To the FIA, because they have to homologate it.

“If they are talking about a semi-urban circuit, the first thing you have to do is to homologate it and certify, things like that.

“So, if the Spanish federation have not received anything, then therefore they have not sent anything to the FIA, so the FIA have not received anything.

“So, nobody [inside the FIA] has been working so far on this project that has been in the press in the last few days.”

On the other hand, he voiced concerns about the possibility of political play in the background with unapproved rumors in the media.

“I’ve been reading also a lot about Madrid trying to steal from Barcelona, and trying to kill Montmelo or things like that…and definitely I think that the way it is being positioned is not correct,” he said.

“This has been probably influenced by the political situation we are living in, of Madrid versus Barcelona.

“Also, and I don’t know if this was announced, but we had some experience in the past, when we were trying to bring the 2030 Olympic Games to Madrid and due to leakage and due to not following processes, this has not happened.

“I hope that this is not the case [with the Madrid race] because I would love to have a race in Madrid. But is it the only project that I’m aware of to have F1 in Madrid? No, I know of at least another two.”

Leave a Reply