Formula One will return to Madrid after 45 years when the city stages the Spanish Grand Prix starting in 2026 on a hybrid track that will include a banked turn and potential indoor sections.
F1 made the news official on Tuesday after signing a 10-year contract. The new 3.3-mile circuit is expected to feature 20 corners, two tunnels and four passing zones and will not go near the city’s main tourist attractions.
“Madrid is an incredible city with amazing sporting and cultural heritage, and today’s announcement begins an exciting new chapter for F1 in Spain,” said Stefano Domenicali, president and chief executive officer of Formula 1. “I would like to thank the team at IFEMA Madrid, the Regional Government of Madrid and the city’s mayor for putting together a fantastic proposal. It truly epitomizes Formula 1’s vision to create a multi-day spectacle of sport and entertainment that delivers maximum value for fans and embraces innovation and sustainability.”
The new circuit will be built around the IFEMA exhibition center and will include street and non-street sections around the city exhibition center. The overall project will include a paddock building, a new race tower, office spaces, VIP hospitality and entertainment areas. It is projected to have capacity to host more than 110,000 fans per day across grandstand, general admission and VIP hospitality.
“Our dream of hosting a major F1 event around IFEMA Madrid has come true,” said Jose Vicente de los Mozos, president of the executive committee of IFEMA Madrid. “We are thrilled to announce the return of F1 to Madrid after more than four decades.”
This will be the first F1 action in Madrid since 1981. The Jerez de la Frontera track in southern Spain hosted races from 1986-90 and in 1994 and 1997. The country also hosted the European Grand Prix on a street circuit in Valencia from 2008-12. The Barcelona-Catalunya track has been hosting the Spanish GP since 1991.
Let’s go racing in Madrid!
There are plans to grow the circuit’s capacity to 140,000 per day over the first half of the agreement, making Madrid one of the largest venues on the F1 calendar. In addition to the Grand Prix, fan activations will take place in downtown Madrid, as well as engagement with local businesses and schools.
The new track is about five minutes from the Madrid airport, near a main metro station and with easy access by buses. F1 said the Spanish GP will become “one of the most accessible races on the F1 calendar,” with nearly 90% of fans able to travel to the track via public transportation.
“It is with great satisfaction that we announce Formula 1 is coming to the community of Madrid, to a region and a capital that inspires openness and confidence within and beyond our borders,” said Isabel Diaz Ayuso, president of the Region of Madrid. “This event, which we expect to be followed on a global scale by 70 million people, will represent an increase of more than 450 million euros in Madrid’s GDP per year and the creation of 8,200 jobs.”