Madrid GP not death knell for Barcelona – president

Tue, 23 January 2024, 07:00

Jan.23 (GMM) Barcelona is determined to stay on the Formula 1 calendar, even if a second grand prix in Spain is set to be imminently announced for Madrid.

Photos of the stage for the announcement of a Madrid GP are now circulating online ahead of Tuesday’s event, which will be attended by F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

But what is not known is how Formula 1’s latest city race will affect the existing long-time Spanish GP host in Barcelona, at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Pere Aragones, the president of the government of Catalonia, insists he is not overly worried.

“We are working with Formula 1,” he told Catalunya Radio. “The relationship is good.

“We are working to have another contract with which to continue for a few more years. We are working on that and making positive progress and will announce it when we have it signed.”

Barcelona has held the Spanish GP at the same permanent circuit since 1991, but it is now rumoured that Madrid could either replace the event or the two hosts will alternate annually.

President Aragones insists he feels no pressure to accelerate the F1 talks.

“To defend the interests of Catalonia, we set the rhythms, the dynamics and the criteria,” he said. “The future of F1 in Catalonia will depend on the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit and on F1 itself. Not on anyone else.”

He would not be drawn on whether the new Madrid GP is the death knell for Barcelona’s event.

“If there can be grands prix in other places is a question for F1, not for us,” said Aragones. “This year we will have a grand prix and from 2026 we are working to ensure the continuity of the grand prix held in Catalonia.

“After that, F1 will say what happens in other places.”

Madrid’s new F1 race will take place in and around the Ifema event facilities near the airport, with a circuit that is rumoured to include a heavily banked corner and a unique indoor section.

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