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
Formula 1 Spanish GP

Hamilton wants F1 to keep “classic” Barcelona over possible Madrid switch

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has declared his affection for the “classic” Barcelona circuit amid speculation that Formula 1 could move the Spanish Grand Prix to a street track in Madrid.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

The current Barcelona venue has been on the calendar since 1991 and for this year, the final chicane has been ditched in favour of a return to high-speed Turns 13-14. This tweak has been devised to boost overtaking.

The last time the series used this configuration was in 2006.

But starting from the 2026 season, plans are afoot to devise a street race in the Spanish capital, Madrid. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali held talks with the backers earlier this year.

Amid the proliferation of street circuits in recent years - with the additions of Jeddah, Miami, Baku and Las Vegas most notably - Hamilton reckons F1 should not risk the future of too many “traditional” circuits.

However, the seven-time champion was open to the prospect of a race in Madrid so long as the layout bettered the short-lived Valencia street track used between 2008 and 2012.

Hamilton, a record-equalling six-time winner of the Spanish Grand Prix who went undefeated from 2017 to 2021, said: “As long as it’s not like Valencia was, which wasn’t the most enjoyable track to drive.

“I don’t think I would want to lose Barcelona. One, I love the city. I do think it’s really important we keep some of the classic circuits.

“At least the ones that provide great racing. Budapest is spectacular. Silverstone is spectacular. This track [in Barcelona].

Hamilton has won six times in Barcelona and wants to see the circuit remain on the calendar

Hamilton has won six times in Barcelona and wants to see the circuit remain on the calendar

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“There are a lot of really great traditional circuits that we should keep. Maybe some that don’t provide the greatest racing, we should maybe switch them out.

“I just think about the heritage of the sport and we’ve got to make sure we hold onto those which I think are the pillars of what this sport is, in my opinion.”

Should a Madrid race get off the ground, it is thought that it would replace the Barcelona round rather than the two co-exist.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz said his bigger focus was on ensuring his country retains a spot on the F1 calendar, irrespective of the location.

He said: “I just can say that I will do my maximum just to ensure that there's still a Spanish Grand Prix independently of where.

“I think Barcelona now is doing a great job and I've been enjoying coming to Barcelona for many, many years.

“Obviously, I still need to go a bit more into the details of what's going on in Madrid and what they're planning to do there…

“I will just offer my help to for whatever they need - it doesn't matter if it's track design or whatever.”

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari, in the Thursday press conference

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari, in the Thursday press conference

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Compatriot Fernando Alonso, 41, added: “I will be happy to race in Barcelona, I will be happy to race in Madrid if I'm here in '26.

“If I'm not here, I will watch on TV and it doesn't change much.

“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."

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article F1 Spanish GP: Verstappen dominates FP1 from Perez
Next article McLaren: Hiring Red Bull's Marshall an "unmissable" opportunity

Top Comments

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