Valencia in talks to break F1 contract (Update)

UPDATE Valencia, Spain's relationship with F1 "is on the verge of ending," according to Laura Lopez Albiac of SPORT. It will "probably not be a 'friendly' divorce.'" F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has stated his demands and wants the Valencian government to pay the €33M ($44M) demanded by a rescission clause in the contract between Valencia and F1. Valencia Region President Alberto Fabra "decided to correct the absurdities of a Grand Prix that he inherited from former Valencia President Francisco Camps, one that has cost a fortune in public funds."

Fabra is "in conversations with Ecclestone to ease the penalty for liquidating the contract as much as possible." The Valencian government "has definitively disowned its Grand Prix." Because of "the economic crisis the Valencian government is facing, it has had to make significant cuts, forcing Fabra to consider it impossible to continue contributing money to a race that has never been profitable but has instead been the opposite."

Besides the difficulty of spending the €40M ($53M) it costs to "hold each edition of the race, the government does not want to give off an image of glamour and extravagance at a time like the current economic situation." Valencia treasurer Juan Carlos Moragues recently "announced a new increase in taxes and assured that the priority is to 'meet our obligations without having to close schools and hospitals.'" SPORT


Valencia gone forever?

(GMM) Valencia's formula one foray is set to be officially folded, according to a media report.

Last week, we reported that – according to a draft 2014 calendar that is quietly doing the rounds – the Spanish port city will not host a grand prix next year.

That is despite earlier reports that Valencia and Barcelona have agreed to annually alternate a single Spanish grand prix from 2014 onwards.

Tickets for next year's Barcelona round have, however, already gone on sale, a May 11 date has been set, and El Mundo newspaper said the alternation contract was actually never signed.

Now, Diario Sport newspaper reports that the only negotiations between Bernie Ecclestone and Valencia president Alberto Fabra are about how much Valencia should pay for breaking its existing race contract.

Reportedly, F1's chief executive wants Valencia to pay the full EUR 33 million termination penalty, but Fabra "is in talks to soften" that maximum hit.

Diario Sport claims Valencia treasurer Juan Carlos Moragues Ferrer said recently that, amid the economic crisis, the government wanted to "meet our obligations without having to close schools or hospitals".

"In this context," wrote correspondent Laura Lopez Albiac, "it would be very difficult to explain to taxpayers that more money is being allocated for an extraordinary item such as F1."

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