Damon Hill Expresses Fear Associated With Newly Added Madrid Circuit

F1
by Adam OndrikSaturday, 27 January 2024 at 15:00
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Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill shared what he read between the lines of the Madrid Circuit announcement.
The Madrid Circuit announcement isn't any news by this point. As it stands, the circuit will officially join the F1 calendar starting in the season 2026.
Damon Hill suggested in a recent Sky Sports F1 podcast episode that this circuit might be problematic when considered in the context of the new regulations.

"The thing that I would just add on the Madrid announcement is that we’ve got new engine regulations coming in, and then the talk is of the difficulties they’re going to have in extracting consistent performance from the cars."

The former driver compared F1's move towards more and more street circuits similar to Formula E (which races only at very tight street circuits).

"So this move towards a tighter, twistier circuit, you know, it is going in the direction of, let’s say, Formula E, which has chosen to have its races in city centers and also on very, it has to be said, restricted circuits."

What the former F1 driver fears is that the addition of yet another circuit is a foreshadowing of the decreasing power output of cars adhering to 2026 regulations.

"So I hope that’s not an indication of a few concessions made towards the fact that these cars are going to be down on performance compared to where they are now."

Drivers like Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso have clearly expressed their disapproval of the direction that F1 is heading right now, but that does not seem to have any effect on the F1 management's decisions.

"But the fact is that Formula 1 has to adapt to new demands placed on it from a car manufacturing point of view as well as a government imposing correct environmental questions."

On the other hand, the designer of the Madrid Circuit is the same person who designed the Circuit Zandvoort, Jarno Zaffelli, and he promises his aim is to create a track that will challenge both F1 drivers and their cars while providing spectators with spectacular racing. Hill added:

"I hope it’ll be an exciting circuit, and the most important thing is that the racing is exciting, and the cars can race there, and then we’ll be happy."