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Spanish Grand Prix: Could Madrid replace Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on F1 calendar from 2027?

Silverstone, Monza, the Hungaroring and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya are the only tracks to host an F1 race every year since 1991; however, the Spanish GP could be moving from Barcelona to Madrid from 2027; Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz commented on the reports

Max Verstappen led every lap of the Spanish GP on his way to a third consecutive victory this season
Image: Barcelona has hosted the Spanish GP since 1991 but there is talk of a Madrid street race joining the F1 calendar in future

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is just one of four tracks to have appeared each year on the Formula 1 calendar since 1991 but its future is unclear.

In 2021, organisers announced they would continue to host the Spanish Grand Prix until 2026 but Madrid has increasingly been linked to taking over the running of the event from 2027.

F1's popularity in Spain has wavered throughout this century but Fernando Alonso's presence on the grid, particularly during his winning years at Renault and Ferrari, have been crucial for the Spanish GP's presence on the calendar.

A move to Madrid would mean another street track in F1, in addition to Baku, Jeddah, Miami and Las Vegas all popping up in recent times.

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Highlights of the Spanish Grand Prix, the seventh race of the season.

Hamilton: I don't want to lose Barcelona

F1 used to visit Spain twice a year between 2008 and 2012, when the Valencia Street Circuit hosted the European GP alongside the Spanish GP at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Lewis Hamilton is one of only four current drivers to race in Valencia, the others being Alonso, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, and hopes Madrid does not replace Barcelona.

"As long as it [Madrid] is not like Valencia was, which wasn't the most enjoyable track to drive," half-joked Hamilton.

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"I don't think I would want to lose Barcelona. One, I love the city, and I do think it's really important that we keep some of the classic circuits, at least the ones that provide great racing.

"Budapest is spectacular, Silverstone Grand Prix is spectacular, this track - there's a lot of really great original circuits that we should keep, maybe some that don't provide the greatest of racing and we can maybe switch those outs.

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

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Watch all of Mercedes' overtakes at the Spanish GP as they secured a double podium finish and moved ahead of Aston Martin in the Constructors Championship.

Alonso has no preference for Spanish GP host

Alonso, who is the only Spanish F1 world champion, has won his home event twice, along with a famous victory on the streets of Valencia in 2012.

The Aston Martin driver says he does not know what the future of the Spanish GP is beyond 2026.

"I really don't know what are the plans. It's a Formula 1 decision if Madrid is in contention or not," he said.

"I will be happy to race in Barcelona, I will be happy to race in Madrid - if I'm here in 2026 [and 2027]. If I'm not here, I will watch on TV, and it doesn't change much."

Asked whether there are too many street circuits in F1, Alonso answered: "Probably. It's good to have a few, but not too many.

"When you come to a traditional circuit, it's also nice to have a consistent track from Friday to Sunday, not much track evolution and these kind of things.

"At the end of the day, it's up to the region if they are happy to host the race or not, and 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 would love to have it."

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Check out the funniest moments from the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix.

Sainz will do 'everything' to keep Spanish GP in F1

In recent years, there have been talks about the prospect of no Spanish GP at all, only for the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to sign a new five-year deal in 2021.

The emergence of more races in the United States and Middle East have put European events under pressure to remain on the calendar.

Carlos Sainz has admitted he's heard about the Madrid GP project, but is more keen to ensure F1 has a race in Spain.

"I just can say that I will do my maximum and just to ensure that there's still a Spanish Grand Prix, independently of where," explained the Ferrari driver.

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

"Obviously, I still need to go a bit more into the detail of what's going on in Madrid and what they're planning to do there but I will just support the Spanish Grand Prix independently of where it is and I will just help and offer my help for whatever they need - doesn't matter if it's track design, or whatever and support it."

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A closer look at the incident that ended Lando Norris' podium hopes as he made contact with Lewis Hamilton at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The United States and Italy are currently the only countries to hold more than one Grand Prix each year and Sainz thinks it would not work for both Barcelona and Madrid to be on the calendar at the same time.

"I don't think it's the intention of everyone, especially when you look at where they are going with the races and the new horizons they have in the [United] States and everywhere so I don't believe two Grands Prix in Spain is feasible right now," he said.

"But I do feel like out of the European circuits or places that F1 is wanting to stay, and is wanting to make sure we keep a base in Europe, like we've seen in recent years, I do think Spain is the right place to keep a yearly Grand Prix. I'm sure Spain is going to do everything they can do to keep it, and I think it's the right move."

Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc commented: "It [Barcelona] is a track we all know so well as drivers. It would be strange to not come here.

"But me personally I love street tracks. The feeling you get from it is very special, so Madrid could be really nice too."

F1 returns in Canada from June 16-18 with all sessions live on Sky Sports F1, including race coverage from 5.30pm on Sunday June 18

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