In a landmark announcement, Formula 1 has confirmed a new Madrid circuit from 2026 to 2035, promising thrilling races around the IFEMA exhibition park, a stone’s throw from Adolfo Suarez Airport.
It’s now official: Formula 1 will head to Madrid from 2026 to 2035. The venue will be around the IFEMA exhibition park, just 5 minutes from Adolfo Suarez Airport.
This 5.474 km semi-urban circuit will feature 20 turns (see the layout below) – with the average qualifying time expected to be around 1 minute and 32 seconds.
In designing the layout, F1 has examined “numerous circuit configurations” since the start of negotiations.
F1’s vehicle performance head, Craig Wilson, oversaw the final layout design. He notes that at least 24 configurations were tested…
“From the very first track suggestion to the current stage, there have been about 24 track models, along with extensive research into sub-models and various details.”
“We now have a concept we’re happy to develop further and are very excited to see it take shape.”
“I believe it will be a good challenge for the drivers.”
The track indeed promises diversity: narrow chicanes, long straights ending in sharp braking…
Turns 7 to 9 are expected to form a downhill section. Turn 10 will also feature banking, although discussions are ongoing about its curvature, keeping in mind the need to create a great overtaking opportunity for turns 11 and 12.
The section between turns 13 and 17 will increasingly speed up, allowing drivers to impress the audience in the large stands at the end of the lap.
A semi-permanent circuit…?
Perhaps to slightly appease F1 fans (or Max Verstappen), who are wary of the growing number of urban races, F1 clarifies that this circuit will be semi-urban, not just another urban circuit.
Madrid F1 Circuit Development Begins
It will indeed use public roads, but some parts will resemble a permanent circuit, similar to Miami, Wilson explains.
“This circuit lies between what one might consider a normal urban track and a permanent circuit.”
“In many cases, it will be a temporary urban circuit setup, but there will also be sections that might feel a bit different (from an urban circuit), depending on the final implementation decisions to fit the site.”
The circuit must adapt to the exhibition park environment (like in Miami, where the layout circles the Hard Rock Stadium).
Challenges include, for example, a highway overhanging the exhibition park: meaning the track will have two short tunnel sections (to transition between the Recinto Ferial complex and the Valdebebas area and vice versa), similar to Abu Dhabi…
As for the garages, they’ll be split across two locations on either side of the central section, extending to IFEMA’s vast network of exhibition halls. Thus, the paddock and hospitality will be in an ‘indoor’ environment, within an exhibition hall.
There’s still a lot of work to do for Madrid’s circuit to be ready for F1. Fortunately, there’s also plenty of time before 2026.
Madrid F1 Circuit Development Journey Begins
“The next steps involve moving from this circuit’s concept to its development and detailed design. There’s also the crucial process of FIA submission and homologation, as well as meeting all safety evaluations, to achieve a Grade 1 circuit,” explains Wilson.
“When you start building the circuit, it requires all the inspections, while we need to work on the entire planning, infrastructure, how the garages will be arranged, the specifics of the paddock layout, and the integration of our systems, so it’s just the beginning of the journey.”
Formula 1 has confirmed a new Madrid circuit from 2026. Formula 1 has confirmed a new Madrid circuit from 2026
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