It’s been reported by Spanish newspaper El Mundo that the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is set to lose the rights to host the Spanish Grand Prix, with a deal with the capital city having supposedly been reached.
Barcelona has hosted Formula 1 since 1991 and has often been where pre-season testing has taken place; however, it’s believed that from 2026 onwards, it’ll be wiped from the calendar.
As reported by PlanetF1.com, F1 currently don’t have an update on the status of the iconic circuit in Barcelona.
Despite this, a street race in the Spanish capital is expected to be announced, with it having supposed to have been confirmed last week but only for a technical issue to delay it.
According to the newspaper, F1 will announce that Madrid will host the Spanish GP from 2026 either in the next few hours or potentially next week.
The street circuit in Madrid will reportedly be situated in the suburbs of Ifema and Valdebebas and be five kilometres in length.
Based on drawings of the potential Madrid street circuit, the track will go around Real Madrid Sports City and through where the Mad Cool festival is typically based, whilst the bulk of the circuit will be around the pavilions of the fairground.
One driver who’ll perhaps welcome the move is Carlos Sainz, as he was born in Madrid.
It should be noted that the first ever F1 Exhibition was also located in Madrid, highlighting how highly the city is viewed by the sport.
Whether the F1 Exhibition starting in Madrid and now the Spanish GP potentially moving there are linked is unknown, although potentially likely.
It will see another classic circuit possibly wiped from the calendar and replaced with a street venue, something which is happening increasingly often in F1.
Only in the latter stages of the 2023 season did F1 introduce a new street race in Las Vegas, with purpose-built circuits seemingly dying on the calendar.
More and more street tracks are being added by the pinnacle of single-seater motorsport, raising concerns that the sport is moving away from genuine circuits.
Whilst the racing isn’t often great, Barcelona is a gem on the calendar and has hosted some iconic battles over the years; however, it’s looking like it’ll follow in the path of Hockenheim and the Nurburgring.