The government in the Spanish capital has made its case to Formula 1 bosses as it bids to land a future Grand Prix, amid traffic problems seen at the Barcelona race last month
Madrid have thrown their hat into the ring to host the Spanish Grand Prix in the future, potentially moving it away from their current home of Barcelona.
The Circuit de Catalunya has hosted the annual event since the early 1990s, having taken over from Jerez, near Seville in the south of the country. The Spanish Grand Prix was closest to Madrid in the 1960s and 1970s, when it was held in Jarama, 20 miles north of the capital.
But local politicians intend to hold a Formula 1 race in Madrid itself, potentially pushing the Spanish Grand Prix away from Catalonia. A new contract signed last November guaranteed Barcelona hosting rights until 2026, after which they could potentially move venues.
In a letter addressed to F1 chief Stefano Domenicali and made public, regional minister Enrique Lopez wrote: “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 the development of a Formula 1 Grand Prix in Madrid.
“I believe that the holding in Madrid of a motor racing event, which is one of the most exciting sporting phenomena of our time, would be a success for all the professionals, institutions and companies involved in the development of Formula 1. Of course, it would also be a satisfaction for the whole region and its citizens, which is why the Government of the Community of Madrid has the greatest interest in making this possible.
“In short, I would like to confirm our commitment to you and to this project, as well as our willingness to sign the appropriate agreements to promote the race and provide a great sporting and entertainment spectacle. We are ready to work with you and your team. to bring Formula 1 to Madrid.”
Madrid’s play to host a race comes following Spanish Grand Prix organizers landing in hot water with F1 bosses over traffic problems at this year’s event. An exceptional crowd was present throughout the race weekend, but this caused logistical problems.
Huge traffic jams were reported outside the site, with more people than ever using the local road network. And public transport has also been affected, as the unexpected number of traveling fans using the trains has caused delays in the city centre.
F1 chiefs made their displeasure clear in a statement, which read: “The large number of fans at this event inside and outside the circuit has created traffic problems for the fans. We have made make the promoter aware that this is not acceptable and needs to be fixed for next season.”