2020 Dutch GP does not stop Barcelona talks (4th Update)

Barcelona Circuit
Barcelona Circuit

UPDATE (GMM) The Royal Automobile Club of Catalonia (RACC) has joined the fight to help keep the Spanish GP in Barcelona.

It appears that the annual race at the Circuit de Catalunya could be a victim as Liberty Media makes room for new races at Zandvoort and in Vietnam for 2020.

With the uncertainty continuing, the RACC has issued a statement asking for help.

"The RACC asks all administrations and the business world to make a unity of action to achieve the renewal of the Formula 1 race," it said.

"We want to keep in our country one of the most important sporting events held every year in the world."

The club said the Spanish GP contributes EUR 163 million to the economy and 2700 jobs, and also gives the region and Spain "maximum visibility" in the media.

McLaren driver Carlos Sainz agrees: "1991 was the first one, let's make sure that 2019 is not the last one."

06/01/19 Organizers of Formula 1’s Spanish Grand Prix are begging the government to step in and assist in its efforts to save the event.

On Friday organizing committee RACC released a statement calling for “political will to find an urgent solution to renew F1".

“The RACC asks all administrations and the business world to maintain the Formula 1 championship at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Barcelona.

“[We want to] be able to maintain in our country one of the most important sport events that is celebrated in the world every year.

“The RACC considered that the continuity of the F1 Grand Prix in Catalonia is a strategic decision at the business, economic and sports level, and that is why it is urgently necessary to find a better solution.

“The Grand Prix has an economic impact on the services, automotive, tourism, transport and entertainment sectors close to 163 million euros and generates 2,700 jobs.

“At the same time, this event is key to the Circuit, which is one of the most important sport infrastructures in Catalonia."

It also added that the impact of worldwide media attending the event also contributed positively to both the region of Catalonia and the country of Spain.

“Therefore, the RACC, with more than 50 years of history in front of this competition in our country, since 1969 at the Montjuich circuit, has asked the Government of the Generalitat, the Spanish State, the rest of the administrations and the business world for collaboration, consensus, solidity and unity of action to achieve a stable agreement such that in the next few years the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will continue to host F1."

Barcelona is desperately trying to remain on F1 calendar
Barcelona is desperately trying to remain on F1 calendar

05/22/19 (GMM) Circuit de Catalunya boss Joan Fontsere rates the chances of a Spanish GP next year at "90 per cent".

That is despite the fact that Zandvoort, having inked a deal for a 2020 Dutch GP, looks certain to take Barcelona's May date on next year's calendar.

Fontsere, the Barcelona circuit director, does not deny that.

"We must not link the destinies of Barcelona and Zandvoort," he told France's Auto Hebdo.

"When it was necessary to find a date in June for the return of the French GP, a solution was found."

It is believed Liberty Media has identified Barcelona for the axe in 2020, as well as Mexico, in order to make room for Zandvoort and Vietnam without adding to the existing 21 race dates.

One reason is that the popularity of F1 in Spain has plummeted with the demise of Fernando Alonso.

"Moving F1 to a pay channel also caused the audience to plunge, and the spectacle offered on track is too predictable," Fontsere counters.

"Over the same period of time, we went from 142,000 spectators in the grandstands to 90,000.

"But personally, I am confident," he insists. "I rate our chances of a new contract at 90 per cent."

05/14/19 (GMM) Zandvoort's soon-to-be-announced 2020 Dutch GP does not mean Barcelona is out of the running to also be on the calendar next year.

Vincenc Aguilera, the Circuit de Catalunya boss, says he is still in talks with Liberty Media about signing a new race deal for 2020.

"We are not having any calendar discussions," he told El Mundo Deportivo newspaper.

"It's not that it is a problem or not. We can be on it, Zandvoort can and others as well," he added.

However, it is believed that Zandvoort will definitely take Barcelona's place as the first race of the European season.

Asked if that is a tragedy, Aguilera answered: "What would be a tragedy is if we lose F1.

"We will fight to keep the same date, but it would not be a drama either. I would prefer it to be 15 days sooner or later than to not have F1 at all."

He says there is still time to turn around the negotiations with Liberty.

"We have until summer, basically. It could be July, or the end of June, or the end of July if we complicate our lives a lot. But we have a reasonable amount of time to negotiate," said Aguilera.

05/12/19 (GMM) Zandvoort's soon-to-be-announced 2020 Dutch GP does not mean Barcelona is out of the running to also be on the calendar next year.

Vincenc Aguilera, the Circuit de Catalunya boss, says he is still in talks with Liberty Media about signing a new race deal for 2020.

"We are not having any calendar discussions," he told El Mundo Deportivo newspaper.

"It's not that it is a problem or not. We can be on it, Zandvoort can and others as well," he added.

However, it is believed that Zandvoort will definitely take Barcelona's place as the first race of the European season.

Asked if that is a tragedy, Aguilera answered: "What would be a tragedy is if we lose F1.

"We will fight to keep the same date, but it would not be a drama either. I would prefer it to be 15 days sooner or later than to not have F1 at all."

He says there is still time to turn around the negotiations with Liberty.

"We have until summer, basically. It could be July, or the end of June, or the end of July if we complicate our lives a lot. But we have a reasonable amount of time to negotiate," said Aguilera.

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