Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso have expressed their openness to the possibility of adding a new street circuit to the Formula 1 calendar in Madrid.
The Spanish Grand Prix is currently set to be held at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona until 2026. However, after that date, its future could be in doubt.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has reportedly engaged in discussions with officials in Madrid to explore the feasibility of introducing a street circuit in the Spanish capital as a potential replacement for Barcelona.
Ferrari’s Leclerc has voiced his enthusiasm for another street circuit in the championship, acknowledging the familiarity of the Circuit de Catalunya has its perks but revealing he loves street circuits.
“It’s a track that we all know so well as drivers, so it would be strange to not come here,” Leclerc said.
“But me personally, I love street tracks. I think just the feeling that you get from it is very, very special. So Madrid would be really nice too.”
Alonso, a two-time winner of the Spanish Grand Prix and one-time victor on the Valencia street circuit, also supports the idea of racing around a street track in Madrid in the future, provided he is still competing in Formula 1.
However, he deferred the decision to Formula 1, emphasising that it will be down to officials to decide whether Madrid becomes a contender or not.
“I really don’t know what are the plans,” he said.
“It’s going to be a Formula 1 decision if Madrid is in contention or not.
“I will be happy to race in Barcelona, I will be happy to race in Madrid – if I’m here in 2026. If I’m not here, I will watch on TV and it doesn’t change much.”
Regarding the question of whether there are already too many street circuits in Formula 1, Alonso believes that having a few is beneficial but not an excessive number.
Alonso highlighted the appeal of traditional circuits with consistent track conditions throughout the weekend, minimizing significant track evolution.
“I think when you come to a traditional circuit, it’s also nice to have a consistent track from Friday to Sunday,” he continued. “Not much track evolution and this kind of thing. So let’s see.
“At the end of the day, it’s up to the region if they are happy to host the race or not. Barcelona has been up and down – sometimes they are positive about hosting the race, sometimes they don’t want the race. So if they don’t want the race, it is very easy then, because some other region will love to have it.”
Valtteri Bottas, while agreeing with Alonso that drivers do not have a say in such matters, suggests that a change in venue for the Spanish Grand Prix would only be worthwhile if Madrid offers something superior to the existing circuit.
“If they come up with something better in Madrid than the actual.”
“But it’s not like we have a say in things.
“So we go where F1 goes and we race there.”