Spanish F1 GP may change location from Barcelona after 2026 season: Reports
The location of the Spanish F1 GP could potentially change from Barcelona to Madrid after the 2026 season. Although the sport is looking to change the venue of the iconic race, officials remain unsure about adding another race in the same country.
Following discussions with the sport's CEO Stefano Domenicali, Madrid is now one step closer to being added to the Formula One roster. Local officials have revealed their aspirations to construct a new race track, with the possibility of eventually replacing Barcelona as the host of the Spanish Grand Prix, which has been held there since 1991.
The city of Barcelona is currently contracted to host the event until 2026, but Madrid is expected to become the top candidate to take over once that contract expires. Speaking at the launch of the Formula One Exhibition in Madrid, Domenicali stated:
"They are working to bring a race here and F1 is delighted to have so many contenders, because this way, we become more and more popular."
Max Verstappen successfully thwarted his rivals last time around in Spain, winning last year's race in dramatic fashion. At the event, Red Bull got its first 1-2 finish in a long time, with Sergio Perez finishing behind the Dutchman. It will certainly be interesting to see where the duo place later this year.
Spanish F1 venue undergoes a slight change in configuration for 2023 GP
In preparation for the 2023 F1 season, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, host of the Spanish Grand Prix, has undergone a minor modification with the removal of its final chicane.
This chicane, located at turns 14-15, has long been a point of contention, with many arguing that it serves little purpose on the track. Other motorsports, such as MotoGP, don't utilize this section and opt for a single right-hand turn instead. As such, it has been decided that F1 will not use this chicane as well, which was added to the track in 2007.
It's also possible that 2023 cars will be able to follow each other a lot more closely with the new layout. The removal of the final chicane and the return to the original track layout is a significant change, but it's not the only alteration being made to the circuit in preparation for the 2023 season.
New TECHPRO barriers, which are vital for driver safety, will be installed in the final two high-speed corners of the track, in addition to other safety improvements. Furthermore, the run-off area following turn 1 will be expanded, including the addition of 70 meters of gravel and a 5% slope. Finally, a brand new fence will be constructed around turns 1 and 2 to further ensure the safety of drivers.