The designer of the newly added track, Jarno Zaffelli, explained why the Spanish Grand Prix
at Madrid Circuit will be a race to look forward to.
officially announced the addition of a new circuit to their calendar from 2026 just a few days ago
. However, it has already met with mixed reception and some criticism on social media.
Many F1 fans complain they don't like to see the addition of yet another street circuit. Max Verstappen
recently explained that street circuits are not suited for F1 cars and don't allow drivers to extract the full potential out of them. However, Jarno Zaffelli told Motor Sport Magazine:
"I respect everyone's opinion. The only difference is that we are circuit designers. This circuit will demand the utmost from both the drivers and the cars."
Zaffelli has played an important role in the design of the Circuit Zandvoort
, which hosts the Dutch Grand Prix. This track is considered by drivers one of the most challenging, yet enjoyable tracks in the calendar.
"That's just fun. The drivers like it, people talk about it. Fernando Alonso performed an overtaking action in turn three of Zandvoort that was impossible in the simulator."
Zaffelli's approach to the design of circuits focuses on organic shapes and terrain while enhancing the racing experience for drivers, spectators, and viewers.
"We do our best to design circuits that demand the maximum from people and machines. That's how it was in the good old days of motorsport."
Las Vegas Strip Circuit
(which Zaffelli was not involved in), for example, was designed with the primary focus of having F1 cars drive down Las Vegas Boulevard (Las Vegas Strip).
According to the designer, this is not the right approach, and it is not the way the Madrid Circuit will be built. His new creation's aim is to challenge both F1 drivers and their cars.
"Every time there was a rule change, we worked on something slightly different. But other circuits are not designed for specific rules. They organize all kinds of different competitions. This circuit is specifically designed for Formula 1."