Thursday, July 7

Madrid bids for Formula 1


Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari, during the Canadian Grand Prix. / EP

The Community of Madrid has sent a letter to Stefano Domenicali to confirm its intention to host a Grand Prix in the future

The rumor that Madrid was fighting for Formula 1 has been confirmed as desired romances were confirmed in the past: by a letter. Enrique López, Minister of the Presidency, Justice and Interior of the Community of Madrid signs a letter addressed to Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the competition, in which he expresses the intention of the Government chaired by Isabel Díaz Ayuso that they want a grand prize in the region .

The beginning of the epistle, dated June 20, could not be more eloquent: «It is a pleasure for me to write to you on behalf of the Government of the Community of Madrid to express our interest in holding a Formula 1 Grand Prix in Madrid». In the text, he basically summarizes the virtues of the region that can attract the great circus, both organizationally and for the potential public: the transport network, the climate, the culture, the gastronomy, the tourist attractions or the great hotel fabric in general that can attract those who want to come to the capital.

Although the letter is a letter of intent, it represents an important step forward that confirms that the rumors that arose from time to time in the media were not, far from it, misguided.

Madrid options

It is no coincidence that Madrid chooses this moment to ask for its place in Formula 1. Although the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has just signed a renewal until 2026, in the four years that lie ahead they will be watched closely. The competition is opening up to non-European markets, as shown by the fact that the United States is going to host three events in 2023 (Miami, Las Vegas and Austin), or that South Africa fully enters the list to be on the calendar.

The organizational problems left by the last Spanish Grand Prix, with massive complaints from the fans due to notable logistical shortcomings, have left those responsible for the Catalan track very shaken, who expected to assume the spectacular attendance figures with equally positive opinions. This has not been the case and the Community of Madrid has hardly taken a month to raise its hand so that, if F1 were to exercise any of the leonine clauses included in its contract, they can count on them, well now, well beyond of 2026.

Despite everything, Montmeló will assert his signature to continue in Formula 1. In fact, it would be quite a surprise if, in the event that the Spanish Grand Prix goes ahead, they do not renew for at least a couple more years. The experience is remarkable, and both drivers and technicians are delighted with each visit to the Barcelona track. The combination of slow and technical sections and fast sections delight everyone: it is no coincidence that it is a ‘sine qua non’ condition that the pre-season tests are held here every year.

With the political scene in the background, Madrid’s entry into the battle for Formula 1 also has actors who, a priori, start as secondary. Jerez de la Frontera, for example, hastened these years to proclaim itself as the first substitute for any of the circuits that could fall or be changed in the event that the pandemic (or war) forced it. In no case was it even considered, but the renovation of the facilities and the circuit itself, in addition to having demonstrated with motorcycling that they are perfectly capable, is a good example of their intentions.

In case Madrid decides to go ahead with its project, it remains to be seen where it would be held. A priori there are three potential circuits: the Jarama, which has just had a total facelift and a more than necessary reform of its boxes from top to bottom, the future circuit of Morata de Tajuña or even a hypothetical urban layout in the fairgrounds of IFEMA. The options can be multiplied now that the Government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso has put all its machinery to work so that Formula 1 makes a stop in Madrid in the future.


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