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Formula 1 will return to Madrid in 2026 with an urban circuit in Ifema | Formula 1 | Sports

Formula 1 will arrive in Madrid starting in 2026, no less than 45 years after the last time the competition visited Jarama (1981). The official announcement had been delayed for months, but this Tuesday an event was finally held at the Ifema exhibition center with the presence of Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO of Formula 1; Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of the Community, and José Luis Martínez-Almeida, mayor of the capital. The agreement, which already has the approval of all the parties involved, both Liberty Media, the promoter of the championship, and the Community and the City Council, has a duration of 10 years, which ensures the competition from 2026 to 2035, and its celebration will mean annual income for Madrid of 450 million euros.

In its first edition, the Spanish GP to be held in Madrid will coexist with what until now is the circuit that hosts this event, Montmeló, and which will be renamed differently. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is the holder of the Spanish Grand Prix until 2026, which raised two possible scenarios. The first would take Montmeló and Madrid to coexist for a year, before the Catalan route stopped holding a test that has been run there since 1991. It is the only scenario contemplated in Catalonia, which assures that the race will be held in Montmeló, at least the next three years. A second scenario could involve the Circuit resigning from the 2026 edition, in exchange for some compensation. In any case, and although it does not seem feasible that both events coexist beyond that possible specific case, given the list of candidates to enter the circle and Liberty’s desire to export the great circus to countries outside of Europe, this Tuesday Domenicali did not want to rule out any scenario and has aimed to try an agreement to extend the contract with Catalonia. “To avoid doubts and clarify it, the fact that we are in Madrid does not exclude that we can stay in Barcelona in the future. Looking to the future, there are conversations underway to see if we can really expand our collaboration with Barcelona, ​​with whom we have a very good relationship,” he assured. This same morning, the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, expressed confidence in being able to prolong the marriage with formula 1: “We work for Catalonia, and beyond the fact that the F1 organization can reach agreements with other cities, We continue working to extend the celebration of the event in Montmeló beyond 2026. It has been celebrated in Catalonia for more than 30 years and the work with the organization is being positive. We are moving forward, without comparing ourselves to anyone. We seek to build our own references.”

Isabel Díaz Ayuso, during her speech at Ifema, this Tuesday.JAVIER SORIANO (AFP)

The preliminary project of the circuit in Madrid, pending approval by the International Automobile Federation (FIA), will have a length of 5,474 km, 20 curves, 8 overpasses, 2 tunnels, 4 overtaking points, a spectacular curve and peaks speed of up to 300 kilometers per hour. The qualifying lap will be 1 minute and 32 seconds. 110,000 spectators will be able to see the automobile event in the first year, although it is expected to reach 140,000 in the fifth year. The layout would use the Ifema Madrid roads, both from the current venue and the future ones on the Valdebebas plot, in addition to just 1.5 kilometers of public roads, according to a statement from the Madrid venue, which will provide “unprecedented spaces” in F1, as a covered and heated paddock. “Madrid will prepare an event that will go down in the history of Formula 1,” said Domenicali.

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Ayuso, for his part, has promised “10,000 direct jobs, plus indirect ones” thanks to formula 1, and has avoided commenting on what last weekend he called “disinterest of the Government of [Pedro] Sánchez” to launch the event. From the opposition, Más Madrid, through its leader in the regional Assembly, Manuela Bergerot, has shown its doubts regarding the project, and has announced that they will raise them in the Chamber to “avoid embezzlement” and that the automobile test will not end. “the people of Madrid” paying. In a similar sense, Juan Lobato, spokesperson for the PSOE in the regional Parliament, has recently pointed out the fact that Valdebebas, which lacks a “health center, institute or interchange”, will have Formula 1 sooner. Lobato said that is going to “control and supervise every euro”, but President Ayuso has always said that the Community of Madrid “will not contribute public money to the prize.”

The presentation, carried out in the midst of a festive atmosphere in pavilion number two of Ifema, featured more than 500 guests, a light show and electronic music. José Vicente de los Mozos, president of the executive committee of the events center, has praised the new Madrid circuit. “It will be the best connected grand prix by public transport of the entire competition and neutral in carbon emissions, fully aligned with sustainability policies,” he said. Ifema has expressed in a statement that the long duration of the event provides “the necessary horizon to ensure the return of investments and consequently favors the economic viability of this important project.” The last time Formula 1 cars raced through the streets of Madrid was in 1981 at the Jarama Circuit (San Sebastián de los Reyes), 30 kilometers from the capital. After nine consecutive editions, the circuit closed due to the economic deficit it produced for the organizers. The last race was won by Gilles Villeneuve.

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2024-01-23 11:42:31
#Formula #return #Madrid #urban #circuit #Ifema #Formula #Sports

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