Formula 1

F1 CEO Teases Huge European Race Mix-Up In 2026 With Announcement Expected Imminently

In a recent development, Stefano Domenicali, the CEO of Formula 1, has indicated major changes in the lineup of European Grand Prix events from 2026, with an announcement on the horizon. This move could introduce a new era of racing venues and strategies in the prestigious motorsport.

Key Takeaways:

  • Contracts Expiry: Contracts for iconic European Grand Prix locations, including Zandvoort, Spa, Imola, Monza, and Monaco, are set to end after 2025, signalling potential changes in the racing calendar.
  • Shift to Madrid: The Spanish Grand Prix is confirmed to relocate to Madrid in 2026, while Barcelona could still host a race based on a flexible agreement.
  • Race Rotation and Global Expansion: Ongoing discussions suggest the possibility of rotating European races and adding new international venues, potentially reshaping the future of Formula 1 events.

In a significant announcement that has stirred excitement and speculation among Formula 1 enthusiasts, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has hinted at a major reshuffling of the European Grand Prix events beginning in 2026. This announcement aligns with the expiry of contracts for several key European race locations, suggesting a possible overhaul of the traditional racing calendar.

Madrid is set to be the new host for the Spanish Grand Prix starting in 2026. This shift raises questions about the fate of the Barcelona race. While Barcelona maintains a contract for 2026, it appears to be subject to terms that allow for greater flexibility in Formula 1’s strategic planning. The possibility of rotating certain European races, including the Dutch and Belgian Grands Prix, is also under discussion. This move could lead to a reduction in the number of European races to 23, thereby creating space for new global venues. While there are no definitive plans for Barcelona to fill any emerging gaps, the door remains open for potential changes.

Domenicali’s comments reflect a broader strategy aimed at revitalizing Formula 1’s presence in Europe and addressing perceptions of diminishing interest in the continent. In his statement to, Domenicali emphasized the importance of the upcoming changes: “That [2026] is a year where there will be a lot of grands prix, mainly in Europe, where we have different options that we can take. I think Madrid shows one thing that was very important for us, to see that the attention of F1 is there, also in the old continent, where everyone was thinking, ‘Oh, you know, we need to move out of Europe, because there’s not anymore the interest.’ But we showed the opposite. I think in ’26, you’re going to see something interesting. We are discussing with other promoters in Europe to do something that will be announced soon.”

He further noted the anticipated impact of Madrid as a new venue and reaffirmed the focus on Barcelona, highlighting a commitment to delivering a great grand prix in the coming years.

Domenicali also stressed the importance of recent contract renewals, pointing out that these agreements are crucial not just for financial reasons but also for the stability and growth of F1 events. He explained, “The fact that you have seen in the last couple of years that we were able to ratify incredible agreements with certain promoters means that is, from one side, of course, a very interesting financial package. But on the other side, an incredible opportunity to develop our business in other areas that are on top of the one that is related to the promotional fee. And that’s really our approach.”

As the motorsport world eagerly anticipates the formal announcement, these developments suggest a dynamic and potentially transformative phase for Formula 1, especially in Europe. The combination of traditional races and new venues promises to invigorate the sport and its global fan base, signaling a bright and exciting future for the pinnacle of motorsport.

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