Madrid F1 project lacks key steps, says FIA

Reports indicate contract set to be signed with city from 2026.
  • Spanish Automobile Federation yet to receive details of project
  • FIA exec de Barros says he has heard of “at least another two” Madrid F1 projects

Madrid’s hopes of hosting a Formula One race remain short of becoming a reality, according to the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

Reports emerged last week that the city was set to secure a ten-year contract to host a race at a semi-permanent circuit around the Ifema Madrid exhibition centre.

However, governing body the FIA has moved to pour cold water on this rumour, especially since it has not been tasked with approving key elements of the prospective race.

“There is a clear process to have a Grand Prix in a place, and I don't think that the process is being followed based on what you read,” Carmelo Sanz de Barros, the FIA president of the Senate, told select media, as reported by Motorsport.com.

“The Spanish Automobile Federation is where the process starts, because whenever there is a new competition that wants to happen in a country, you have to go to them.

“So, have the Spanish Federation received as of today this project to be analysed, studied and focused? No, they have not seen it. This special step has not happened yet.”

He added: “Then, when the Spanish federation consider that this project is a valid project and that they are interested, they channel it to where? To the FIA, because they have to homologate it. If they are talking about a semi-urban circuit, the first thing you have to do is to homologate it and certify, things like that.

“So, if the Spanish Federation have not received anything, then therefore they have not sent anything to the FIA, so the FIA have not received anything. So, nobody [inside the FIA] has been working so far on this project that has been in the press in the last few days.”

De Barros also moved to offer a warning over apparent political manoeuvring behind the scenes, but stated that the FIA will evaluate the project on its merits.

“I've been reading also a lot about Madrid trying to steal from Barcelona and trying to kill Montmelo or things like that … and definitely I think that the way it is being positioned is not correct,” he continued.

“This has been probably influenced by the political situation we are living in, of Madrid versus Barcelona.

“Also, and I don't know if this was announced, but we had some experience in the past, when we were trying to bring the 2030 Olympic Games to Madrid and due to leakage and due to not following processes, this has not happened.

“I hope that this is not the case [with the Madrid race] because I would love to have a race in Madrid. But is it the only project that I'm aware of to have F1 in Madrid? No, I know of at least another two.”

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