Lewis Hamilton’s demand appears to have been rejected by F1 officials, as the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya’s status on the calendar is now in jeopardy. On Tuesday, it was revealed that the Spanish Grand Prix would move from the streets of Madrid to a new part-street circuit starting in 2026.
This announcement is in line with a current trend where street circuits in new locales are being scheduled instead of traditional, purpose-built racetracks. Street circuits comprised about one-third of all races these days, but ten years ago they were an uncommon and valuable feature of the schedule.
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which takes place on a swift course through the streets of Jeddah, and the Las Vegas Grand Prix, which was the season’s spectacular main event in 2023, are two recent additions. Now that Madrid is on the schedule, F1 fans can anticipate seeing races at yet another new venue.
Hardcore F1 fans, who are worried about the survival of historic purpose-built courses, were not pleased with this announcement. Seven-time world champion Hamilton expressed similar worries about the future of Barcelona’s circuit when suspicions of a street race in Madrid surfaced the previous season.
Providing that it’s not Valencia, which wasn’t the most fun course to drive,” Hamilton clarified. “I doubt that I would wish for Barcelona to lose.” Firstly, I adore the city. It is, in my opinion, crucial that we preserve parts of the traditional circuits.
The ones that offer excellent racing, nonetheless. Budapest is just amazing. The Silverstone racecourse is amazing. also this tune. We ought to preserve a large deal of the original circuits.
We ought to consider replacing any that don’t offer the best racing. I simply consider the history of the game and the need to preserve those principles that, in my opinion, form the foundation of what this sport is.
Despite speculations that talks are underway to keep both circuits on the calendar, it appears likely for Hamilton that the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will disappear from the schedule when Madrid takes over hosting duties in 2026.
The only feasible solution, though, would probably be to switch to a different European circuit for the races, given the present 24-race schedule is already taxing drivers and team members to the breaking point.