Barcelona reveals EUR 50m bid to stay on F1 calendar

Fri, 15 March 2024, 09:00

Mar.15 (GMM) The Circuit de Catalunya is spending no less than 50 million euros to convince Formula 1 to stay in Barcelona.

It was recently announced that F1 will head to a rival project in Madrid from 2026 – the final year in Barcelona’s current contract.

Formula 1 is not ruling out a new deal with Barcelona, but it would probably only be an annually alternating arrangement with another European circuit.

Madrid, however, appears to be optimistic about becoming F1’s sole Spanish race from 2027 onwards.

“The optimism is ours,” the Circuit de Catalunya’s track director Josep Lluis Santamaria insisted to Spanish media this week.

The reporters were at the circuit to check out progress on renovation works that are currently underway – with EUR 50m slated to be spent by 2026.

“For MotoGP we will have finished everything on the terrace, the pit building, the control power and almost the entire rooftop structure, which will be finished for F1,” he said, referring to the MotoGP race in late May, and F1’s Spanish GP about a month later.

The innovative ‘Rooftop’ structure straddles the track on the back straight, and is a bold gamble by Barcelona aimed at convincing F1 to keep the circuit on the calendar in 2027 and beyond.

“There are countries that have up to three grands prix, like the United States,” Santamaria insisted. “Why can’t you have two in Spain?

“(Stefano) Domenicalli has already said that. Just like in Italy as well. We are working on it and we are sure that Formula 1 will stay here for many years.

“The contacts we have (with F1) are continuous,” he continued. “Every week we have meetings. Meetings with commercial teams, with the promotion team. What we can already show this year is the quality of the work we have done.”

Santamaria says some of the talks with F1 and its CEO Domenicali have been taking place in the wake of the Madrid GP announcement.

“F1 came here,” he confirmed. “And we had a meeting in London explaining the projects. That was last month.

“Last week, the F1 engineering team came and they stood still because of how quickly we are moving forward.”

Santamaria says one of F1’s demand is that the city of Barcelona needs to get more involved with promoting festival-like events to promote the race.

“You will soon have information on what will be done in the city,” he revealed. “Last year there were already activities and this year there will be too.

“It is true that with the changes in government of the Barcelona council, relations have improved a lot and allow us to hold joint events with the city.”

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