Valencia to get F1 race? UPDATE #6 (GMM) Valencia is still working on plans for a grand prix in 2008 or 2009, according to new reports.
The Spanish news agency 'EFE' quoted the region's president Francisco Camps as insisting that a formula one race, to be staged either at the Ricardo Tormo circuit or on a street layout, is "feasible".
On a trip to Madrid, he revealed that more meetings with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone have been scheduled and said the cost of the event for Valencia would be "neutral".
"We are working on this but nothing is certain yet," Camps said.01/18/07 Bernie Ecclestone has downplayed claims that McLaren's successful street demonstration run for the launch of the MP4-22 could seal the deal for Valencia to host a F1 grand prix.
Valencia wants to be the second Spanish city to host a Formula One grand prix. These rumors were yet again brought to life after more than 200,000 fans turned out to watch the McLaren's street demonstration ahead of Monday's launch of the new MP4-22.
However, according to Ecclestone, the success of the McLaren event will play no role in his decision about whether or not Valencia could host a street race in the future.
"We have a race in Spain already," the F1 supremo told this week's Autosport magazine.
He added: "And Valencia's suitability as a grand prix venue has nothing to do with what went on at the McLaren launch.
"Either the place is good or it isn't - and we still have to see." 11/29/06 (GMM) Speculation about a second grand prix in Spain stepped up a notch this week, after F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone paid yet another visit to Valencia.
The city is tipped to bid for a race, but previous rumors had linked the 'Ricardo Tormo' test circuit with a necessary F1-spec upgrade.
Ecclestone, however, toured the nearby city on Tuesday, increasing suggestions that a street race is more likely.
The 75-year-old is quoted by local publications as saying the existing circuit is 'very good', but insisted that a street course that winds through the Valencia port - perhaps making use of the America's Cup installations - could provide for a better backdrop.11/10/06 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Bernie Ecclestone has played down suggestions that a second Spanish grand prix could be added to the F1 calendar in the future.
The existing test circuit at Valencia announced recently that it would bid for a Formula One race after renovating its facilities, but F1 supremo Ecclestone denied that Fernando Alonso's popularity would factor into his decision.
Bernie, 75, told Diario As in Madrid this week: "This sport is greater than any one driver. Fernando has done a lot for the popularity of Formula One in Spain but that does not mean we are going to do another race."
Spanish GP venue Barcelona has a contract to 2011.
10/12/06 Bernie Ecclestone says no decision has been taken about whether a second grand prix in Spain will be staged in the future.
The 'Circuit de la Comunitat' venue at Valencia, already a popular test track, announced recently that it would renovate its facilities and layout in preparation for a bid to host formula one races.
Valencia opened the 2006 GP2 calendar with a stand-alone event, at which F1 supremo Ecclestone met with local dignitaries about a GP debut possibly in 2009.
Bernie told the 'Grand Prix' magazine this week that a second Spanish race would likely be called the 'Mediterranean' or 'European' grand prix.
But he cautioned: "Valencia is doing a good job, but I cannot say if there will be a grand prix there. We will see."
Spanish GP venue in Barcelona has a contract that runs until 2011.06/16/06 Plans are being considered for a street circuit in Valencia around the historic city's harbor that could host a second Spanish Grand Prix, according to a report in this week's Autosport magazine.
F1 circuit guru Hermann Tilke is reported to have recently visited the city to form outline plans for the track layout. This rumor comes as a surprise to many because the Valencia circuit is being upgraded to host a Mediterranean GP - a 2nd GP in Spain.
However, after studying how Bernie Ecclestone operates over the years it is apparent that he always tries to extract maximum money out of a promoter and always makes a promoter feel like he has another option to choose from. So the fact that this plan has all of a sudden surfaced to go head-to-head against the nearby permanent facility which is run by a different promoter comes as no surprise whatsoever.
06/09/06 The word in the paddock in Silverstone was that the city of Valencia will be hosting a Formula 1 race in 2008. The event would be in addition to the Spanish Grand Prix and would aim to take advantage of the huge interest in F1 in Spain because of the success of Fernando Alonso. The interesting point is that the stories we hear are suggesting that the race will be on the streets rather than at the Circuit Ricardo Torma where F1 teams currently go testing. The plan is apparently to run a track around the harbor area. This is currently being used as the home of the America's Cup teams but after the cup ends in July next year the teams will move elsewhere leaving the area available for other events. The city within a city cost the city more than $500m and has its own road system complete with a sponsors' village and a 300-seat media centre. There are three new marinas and a large entertainment centre and viewing platform. There are also the various different buildings that have been constructed by the America's Cup teams which could be used for VIP entertainment and so on.
There are suggestions that a deal has already been agreed with the local authorities happy to pay race fees of $25m a year. Grandprix.com