Ifema Madrid Circuit modelled in Assetto Corsa Competizione

First onboard video simulation of Ifema Madrid Circuit

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Williams have produced a video showing a simulated lap of the Ifema Madrid Circuit which Formula 1 will race at in 2026.

In brief

Ifema Madrid Circuit rendering revealed

Williams have used a modified version of Assetto Corsa Competizione to create a video showing a lap of the planned Ifema Madrid Circuit.

The track model was created by Tyrone Hesbrook based on the information released about the circuit earlier this week and imagery of the surrounding roads. “It’s just to give an idea of the flow of the circuit,” said Hesbrook. “It’s based on the public streets, merged with the track plan that was released on 23/01/2024. No more details have been released, so I have done my best with the little information that is available.” The track is available for download.

Drive to Survive season six release date confirmed

The sixth season of Formula 1: Drive to Survive will debut on Netflix on February 23rd. The streaming service has also released a new trailer for its upcoming NASCAR documentary, Full Speed:

Dufek gets F3 seat

PHM has confirmed its first driver for the upcoming Formula 3 season: Joshua Dufek, who made his debut in the final round at Monza last year with Campos.

Allaer jumps from F1600 to IndyNxt

HMD Motorsports has expanded its Indy Nxt line-up for 2024 by adding Nolan Allaer to its squad. He has already tested for the team at Sebring.

Allaer will step up to IndyCar’s leading junior series from Formula 1600. He also raced in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch last year.

“The jump from Formula 1600 to Indy Nxt is big, but what most people don’t know is that Nolan was testing other vehicles as he prepared for Indy Nxt,” said HMD Motorsports general manager Mike Maurini. “Despite the conditions at Sebring, Nolan learned a lot, and while two days of dry running would have been great to see where he stacked up, he was able to experience a lot of conditions and scenarios in just two days all while not running any new tyres to better prepare himself for our upcoming Laguna Seca test.”

Brighton National Speed Trial ends after 118 years

The Brighton National Speed Trial, first held in 1905, will not go ahead this year due to rising costs. The Brighton and Hove Motor Club which organises the event blamed “the new road layouts, the closing of the terraces and the enormous cost involved in providing required safety measures, additional security and many other additional costs,” for the decision to end the event.

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Social media

Notable posts from X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and more:

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Comment of the day

Sam found something deeply in dispiriting in yesterday’s news of the latest rebranding for the team originally known as Minardi:

I was a former F1 fanatic (pun intended) since 2011 and used to watch the races religiously. As an Australian, this was no easy feat.

Formula 1 has changed terribly since ‘Drive to Survive’. The soul of F1 has been shredded to pieces and those pieces sold off to the highest bidder. I don’t understand how anyone can stomach this product masquerading as a sport if they witnessed any pre-2018 era of F1.

This is yet another example of how this product that you enjoy is corrupted. Yes, naming rights sponsorships are nothing new to F1 and this naming decision won’t affect any on-track action but this is another example on a long, long list of silly decisions that F1 stakeholders have made that is informed by the bottom-line and neither common sense nor sporting integrity ever prevails in modern Formula 1.
Sam (@Crunch)

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Mouse_Nightshirt, Taimur, Dylan Lopez, Danny Brennan and Lalit Palaparthy!

On this day in motorsport

James Allison, Pat Fry, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Corrado Lanzone and Luca Marmorini at the Ferrari F14 T launch, 2014
James Allison, Pat Fry, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Corrado Lanzone and Luca Marmorini at the Ferrari F14 T launch, 2014

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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51 comments on “First onboard video simulation of Ifema Madrid Circuit”

  1. COTD has hit the nail on the head.

    1. +1. FIA should consider launching a new category to replace this circus.

      1. Coventry Climax
        25th January 2024, 10:04

        I’m all for a new series, but most certainly not under the FiA, as that’s the club that’s incapable of coming up with a decently worded, watertight sporting rulebook where it does count, yet constantly comes up with rules and clarifications (which means you admit you’ve worded things obscure), preferably mid season, where it doesn’t count, either for things that were never an issue to begin with or for things not having to do with sports at all but all the more with attempting to project a certain image, create ways for obvious manipulation and controversy.
        Combine that with an incestuous management clique and you’re a hair width from the blueprint for corruption.

    2. Sounds more like the usual moaning and hyperbole – how many times have we heard the same rants being repeated again and again, only with a different target each time?

      That sort of complaint was pretty much constantly made under Bernie for decades – frankly, those who did watch before 2018 can also remember the whining and tantrums thrown then, often by the same fans pledging back then that they would stop watching (except, almost always, they still continued to watch).

      1. Agreed, what was so different before 2018? F1 had teams named after far more dubious companies than credit cards, it had races in outright dictatorships, in countries waging wars of aggression, had drivers hired because they had the right nationality or brought a bag of money, had no meaningful testing, there was even an earlier engine freeze, spec tyres, a decades long move away from free TV, etc. None of that was caused by either Netflix, or even Liberty. This is on F1 itself, which is mainly the teams.

        1. Since Liberty there might have been a bit more ‘show’, but we see that everywhere.
          Otherwise most things have improved if anything.

    3. What changed because of Netflix’ series?

      1. Coventry Climax
        25th January 2024, 10:07

        The average type of fan.

        1. The YouGov Sports Whitepaper 2023 suggests fewer than 7 million people watched the Drive to Survive series on the Netflix platform. In 2023, for the first week of the new season they claimed 570,000 viewers.

          Last season, Liberty claimed that an average of 70 million people watched* F1 races (it’s unclear what counts as a watch in this sense; back in the day Ecclestone’s FOM used to count just a few minutes as a watch, which basically included everyone who watched the weekend sports roundup on TV). People who have watched Netflix’ series are a tiny minority in any case.

          There have always been highly partisan fans, there have always been drunken fools at the races, and as in other sports, pretty much everyone thinks F1 was best when they first started watching.

        2. The average type of fan.

          I would not count a new ‘type of fan’ (younger?) as changing the ‘sport’.

          I have visited some races many many times over the years, and what I noticed more women and kids. But all this started before Netflix; probably more related to the hybrid engines.

          And the fan base evolves in most sports, just look at golf, cricket, darts.

        3. Coventry Climax
          25th January 2024, 12:54

          Agreed, you guys, I’m grumpy.
          But it used to be you could sit next and among the fans of other drivers and teams, yet still all cheer for a good action instead of start a fight amongst yourselves, as well as applaud for each of the 3 drivers that made it to the rostrum, instead of calling them names when the order doesn’t suit you.
          It’s probably not because of netflix, or not that alone, but it still doesn’t mean I’m very fond of how things have changed.
          Somehow, striving for sheer numbers seems to play a factor in it all.

  2. I thought about that tweet for a while and I’m just going to call them Visa for short. It’s dumb but if that’s what they’re going to call themselves, that’s what they should be called. Visa Cashapp is the same syllables as alpha tauri or toro rosso so that makes sense spoken.

    Red Bull is just a drink company after all so why are people so opposed to calling the team a credit card company? The only agregious bit really is the RB tack on. That’s just red bull trying to have their cake and eat it too.

    (Oh yes the team is completely separate to Red Bull ofcourse, a competitor, for sure…)

    Cotd: Blaming any supposed change on Drive to Survive is funny. F1 has always been a circus, DtS just exposed it to a wider audience.

    1. I am staying with Torro Rosso maybe Alpha Tauri as Visa hash is silly

      1. Maybe go with RB2, then Ricciardo can be RB2D2
        (with the longer standing Tsunoda as RB2D1)

        1. I just realised, on that train of thought, that the other team need renaming as RB1 and need a driver called Kenobi.
          Time to get my coat, maybe?

    2. I’m going with Visa Cashgrab myself (I read it that the first time I saw it this morning and just cannot read it differently now)

  3. Like most tracks combined with modern F1 cars, this new one seems to be too flat out, too “easy” (in a way that it won’t differentiate enough between different skill levels). Plus there isn’t enough jeopardy (close walls or gravel at the spots where it’s more likely to go wide or make a mistake), so the track doesn’t reward bravery (or sometimes good/bad luck) as well. At least, based on this Assetto Corsa video, this track would look far more interesting with 2004 cars for example. Of course, same stands for most tracks; but some corners just cry for less downforce. And when there’s less space for a driver to shine, the car becomes even more important…
    I know I’m stating the most obvious things. Either way, not impressed; for now.

    1. less downforce.

      Yes please.
      Not just every circuit, but everything about F1 improves with less downforce.

    2. I definitely enjoy the track based on this first virtual lap & runoff space is limited at most spaces, so the track does reward bravery to a relatively decent extent.

      1. +1 only the last 2 corners were soso for me.

      2. Yup I mostly like that, only the part with square corners was boring, I had expected more of a camber in the Valdebebas corner – A Zandvoort-style turn 10 would be awesome

    3. I dont now about the no jeopardy bit, you lose it at the 28 second point in the video when it drops from 8th to 7th gear you gonna be in big trouble.

      1. That was my first thought too after seeing the sim video.
        That left turn at 28 seconds looks like big problems waiting to happen.

      2. There’s an overpass as well at the 28-29 second mark – if you have two cars tangling wheels going into that corner and one of them takes off it’s anyone’s guess where a car might end up or what it might hit on the way there. Zhou at the British GP, Floersch at Macau come to mind.

        If I was a track official I would like to see an alternative track layout for that particular left turn.

    4. It looks like a faster Hungaroring. Which is nice for hotlapping, but not so much for racing.

      I doubt that first quick chicane-ish sequence is going to get approved with that basically non-existent runoff.

  4. A nicely flowing configuration with only the T1-2 or more so, the latter radius being something I dislike, similarly to LV T7-8, 12, & 14.
    Enough space for slighter turning angles at the apexes, so I wish these opportunities were used, but nevertheless an enjoyable lap & the circuit could possibly be among the 5 or 6 outright fastest circuits when joining.

    I’ll probably refer to the Red Bull B-team as Visa RB.

  5. +1 COTD. Time for a new racing category to be introduced. Would bring back the sport and Liberty van keep its entertainment franchise and go wild with sprinklers, reversed grid, street circuits only. Celebrities driving the third team car

  6. Better than Miami, similar to Jeddah. Will be interesting to see if the same people that complain about the Jeddah track can manage to refrain from being hypocritical by also complaining about this one.

    1. Madrid has way more elevation changes, variety in corners and banking than Jeddah does. Who knows what the track will be like when it actually manifests but based upon that video this track actually looks really good.

  7. Here comes Danny Ric in his citroen Visa

    1. lol that was a real bad car :)

  8. The fast left hander turn 4(?) passing under the bridge on its exit looks extremely dangerous. Bridge foundations tend to be solid concrete, so having that at 90 degrees to the cars’ direction of travel could gravely punish any drivers running wide. Also, it looks tricky to overtake anywhere, possibly except for turn 1.

    Big downvote to Racefans for not providing my suggested option of voting in X for their original name of Minardi. They were a cool humble hard-trying racers who pioneered several innovative design features that other teams with far bigger budgets tended to copy, e.g. their gearbox casing being made of forged titanium. And the best bit about the name Minardi is that it allows racing fans to stick 2 fingers up at all of the multitude of sponsors crammed into its dreadful attempt at a name.

  9. Probably Cash RB would better suit the purpose. Emphasizing the big dollar driving the change, while denying Visa a highlight on its brand.

  10. Looking at the Madrid track onboard I can only really make out one overtake spot, and thats a dive bomb down the inside into turn 1, and that depends on the car in front having a bad exit out of the final corner.

    1. Yes, it does look difficult to overtake but it also seems to have a nice flow to it. I will trust the designers that they know what they are doing and look forward to seeing it in action in a couple of years. I imagine the designers will have conducted a massive amount of simulation to make sure the race is a marketable success.

    2. I noticed the pit entrance/exit both potentially causing issues
      If there’s a train of cars and the lead one wants to pit, that could baulk the car behind a bit.
      And the exit merges right into the racing line’s braking zone.

      1. Good spot, didnt think about the pits, theres no way it can stay like that, its a massive crash waiting to happen at both ends.
        Having watched it a few times more there is a maybe an overtake into, through and after the banked section into the 90 left but that needs the car behind taking the chicane before it faster, then if your real brave do a hail Mary into the last 90 left.
        I do believe it starting to grow on me :-)

  11. Re: COTD

    This has nothing to do with DTS. That’s just the way the world works in 2024, F1 or not.

    For all the bad decisions Liberty has made, they’ve had good ones as well. Instead of paying 50+ € per month for the privilege of watching F1, I pay 65 € per year now and I share that with 2 other people. F1 is much more accessible now and that’s a good thing. Even if some fans would’ve liked to gatekeep it for themselves.

    The real crime against F1 are the testing restrictions, the budget limits, the limited number of components and all those things that turned F1 from being the pinnacle of motorsport engineering to a reliability fest where teams have no chance of catching up during a season. Pair that with the non-existent heavy rain tires, the most boring qualifying format ever and some of the worst tracks in existence and you end up where we are now.

    Sponsorships are the least of F1s problems.

  12. Interesting that the projected laptime (from Tuesday’s news – a very precise 1:32.076) becomes 1:32.4 in a Williams…
    The fast wiggle under the first bridge looks hairy. You could make a big mess of a car there. Otherwise I just thought of Valencia. Long, wide, curving sections into chicanes, where on earth do you pass anyone? Turn 1 reminded me of Adelaide but I wonder if the straight’s long enough.

  13. I’ll coin them the following:

    Team Isa Cashgrab

  14. The Brighton Speed Trials cancellation is quite a big deal. I’d love to do a big investigation into this, but these kind of events are a core component of British Motorsport Culture, and when we see a contraction in these kind of events we are in trouble. They aren’t the only club in trouble, there’s quite a few who are running losses and are basically subsidised by passionate individuals. Bromley, while just a car show and non-motorsport, is another blow.

    These events are what helps foster motorsport interest in the general public. The popularity of F1 doesn’t really do much other than funnel a few hundred parents into getting their kids into cadet and junior karting each year. All the other stuff that basically keeps the lights on at race circuits around the world requires a strong ‘car culture’. Without that, the sport will become weaker.

  15. Coventry Climax
    25th January 2024, 10:15

    So Madrid pays twice what Catalunya paid.
    That confirms it’s a political decision for Spain (some sort of punishment for the region that wants to go independent?)
    and the same old greed going on for F1.

    1. a political decision for Spain

      Except that the Madrid tracks depends of the Madrid regional government which is strongly at odds with the Spanish government which in turns is supported by the Catalan government. I’d expect the Spanish government to support Barcelona, not Madrid.
      While it is still a political decision, it is not a Spanish one but one from Madrid,
      And btw I do not think that the Madrid regional government are planning to lose money about this, they surely expect to milk it and come ahead financially

      1. Coventry Climax
        26th January 2024, 0:52

        Despite the deal between Sanchez (PSOE) and the Catalan separatists (Junts), that party does not seem to back Sanchez at all when he needs votes to pass legislation, so don’t expect Sanchez to back too many things the Junt party may want. On the other hand, it seems the separatists lost out to the PSOE in Catalonia, at the last elections, so maybe you’re right there, where you would expect some sort of ‘thank you’ for that.
        Spanish politics is a snakepit these days (although we could probably easily exchange ‘spanish’ for ‘global’). The majority of the unhappiness however, seems to be about the -future- unity of Spain.

  16. Piggybacking off COTD.

    The thing i’ve really noticed the past few years thats really stood out to me the past year is just how corporate & sterile modern F1 is compared to the past.

    In the past while the business side was still important it still felt like the sport was above it, That all the teams were there because those that ran them had a genuine love & passion for the sport. Yet now it feels like the teams are there to make money & that those who run them are doing so because someone needs to run them. They don’t want any new teams the enter because it will lead to them having a smaller slice of the pie.

    There’s no Frank Williams or Ken Tyrrell who are there out of love for the sport, There’s no driver like a Gilles Villeneuve or Jean Alesi who are adored by fans because they just want to get in a car.

    The circuits that are beloved by all because of how amazing they are to drive as well as to watch are been shoved out the door in favour of circuits that have no soul & don’t create the same sort of atmosphere that help make places like Spa, Silverstone, Monza & Suzuka feel that extra bit special.

  17. It is very rare I have anything positive to say about F1 these days but that Madrid track actually looks quite good. Quick corners, flowing elevation changes, variety in corners, some banking, no stupidly long straight. Some parts remind me of Mid-Ohio but will walls instead of grass. Perhaps more run off is needed, and some widening the track to help overtaking, but overall it looks good.

  18. Montreal – > jeddah – > yas marina

    That’s what this Madrid tracks looks like to me.

  19. Monaco V2.0
    Expect carnage in T1 and T2, lap 1 every race.

  20. Exciting news about IndyCar returning to iRacing! As a passionate gamer and occasional racer myself, I can’t wait to hit the virtual track.

  21. So how many people refer to Mercedes as “Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team”? Red Bull has been Infiniti Red Bull-Renault Racing, Oracle Red Bull Racing, and even claimed to have a Tag Heuer engine at one point.

    Yes, it’s a silly name. But other racing series have had ridiculous sponsor influenced names too.

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