commentator and former driver David Coulthard recently shared his opinion on the newly announced Madrid Circuit.
Madrid Circuit (which doesn't exist yet) was announced as joining Formula One in 2026
. This announcement sparked a lot of controversy.
Firstly, because it adds to the growing number of street circuits, secondly, it will most probably replace some of the traditional F1 tracks.
Part of the change is that the Spanish Grand Prix
will be moving from Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya
to Madrid. Asked by Total-Motorsport
about what he thinks about the change, David Coulthard responded:
"Clearly, Madrid wanted it badly enough to submit a tender and design and commission and go about building a racetrack."
Formula 1 is a business just like any other, and its goal is to grow. Madrid Circuit will reportedly pay double what Barcelona pays at the moment
, and that by itself could be quite a reason for F1 to move to the Spanish Grand Prix.
"So as Formula 1 looks to grow, its growth is going to come through commercial rights deals, and for the fans, they [Liberty Media] obviously feel it’s better in Madrid."
Some other advantages of the circuit include its location in the suburbs of Madrid, only five minutes from the airport and the nearby metro station.
"My takeaway from the announcement was that 90 percent of the fans can arrive there by public transport."
The ease of transport was one of the primary points of the announcement, as it is supposed to contribute to the sustainability goals set by Formula 1.
"That’s all very nice for the politicians and the greens, but I don’t think it’s the first thing that race fans think about when they go to a Grand Prix [is], ‘can I get there by using the bus and the train network?’"
F1 fans go to circuits to feel the atmosphere, excitement, and live action, to see how fast F1 cars actually are, and how TV distorts the speed perception. The list goes on, but what surely isn't on it is the focus on public transport.
"So I had to giggle when I saw the [the public transport claim as] one of the justifications for the Madrid bid."