Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Domenicali hints at European F1 race rotation from 2026

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has given the clearest indication yet that some European events will be rotated from 2026 onwards.

Stefano Domenicali, CEO, Formula 1 at the complimentary cruise give giveaway

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Recent months have seen a series of contract extensions for races, especially those outside Europe, with many now going well into the 2030s.

However in Europe the current deals for Zandvoort, Spa, Imola, Monza and Monaco all run out after 2025.

Madrid has already been announced as the new home of the Spanish GP from 2026. However, Barcelona is understood to still have a contract to hold a race that season, albeit one with options on F1’s side.

Rotation has been talked about for a while, with the Dutch and Belgian events most likely to be paired and run on alternate years.

Intriguingly that would drop the total to 23 and open up a slot for a 24th race in 2026, which could potentially be available for Barcelona should F1 so desire, although it’s believed that at the moment there are no plans for that to happen.

The alternative would be the addition of a brand-new venue, with a return to South Korea among the options F1 is understood to be exploring.

“That is a year where there will be a lot of grands prix, mainly in Europe, where we have different options that we can take,” said Domenicali, when asked about 2026.

“I think Madrid shows one thing that was very important for us, to see that the attention of F1 is there, also in the old continent, where everyone was thinking, 'Oh, you know, we need to move out of Europe, because there's not anymore the interest.' But we showed the opposite.”

Alluding to rotation, he added: “I think in '26, you're going to see something interesting. We are discussing with other promoters in Europe to do something that will be announced soon.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523, leads Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43, Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45, and the remainder of the field at the start

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523, leads Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43, Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45, and the remainder of the field at the start

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“But Madrid will be a big boost. Because the event will be organised in a place where we'll be around the convention area to allow the opportunity for fans to live that event in an incredible way.

“But the focus in Spain is in Barcelona. There is a big commitment to do a great grand prix there in the next couple of years.”

Speaking about the recent run of long-term contract extensions, Domenicali insisted it wasn’t just about having guaranteed income streams, but also the stability to build up events over time.

“I think as always when we take the decision with regard to the renewal, there are a lot of elements that we need to consider,” he said. “First of all, of course, the financial aspect is relevant, no doubt.

“And the fact that we are able to stabilise with certain promoters, which we believe represent incredible opportunities, in terms of our stability in these markets, is a relevant element to consider.

“The fact that you have seen in the last couple of years that we were able to ratify incredible agreements with certain promoters means that is, from one side, of course, a very interesting financial package.

“But on the other side, an incredible opportunity to develop our business in other areas that are on top of the one that is related to the promotional fee. And that's really our approach.”

Domenicali also insisted there is no desire to go above 24 races.

“It is clear that if you see the development of our regionalisation of the calendar, we have moved out from being European-centric to a very worldwide development, that needs to be kept into the future,” he said.

“I just want to confirm the fact that we believe 24 races is the right number. I think that we are going to play in the right way, in the way I was mentioning just briefly before, on the fact that we have certain opportunities that we want to bring to the market in the next couple of years, starting from 2026 onwards.”

Read Also:

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Leclerc: Mercedes F1 one-lap pace “a bit of a surprise"
Next article Wolff supports idea of “reset” to Formula 1 rules on team alliances

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe