Spanish Grand Prix contract extended to 2019

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: The Circuit de Catalunya has extended its contract to host the Spanish Grand Prix until 2019.


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Barcelona extends F1 deal until 2019 (Motorsport)

"In a deal announced today, the Generalitat de Catalunya, the RACC and the City Council of Montmelo, along with the City Council of Barcelona, confirmed a three-year extension to its current deal that was scheduled to end in 2016."

Force India ready to flip a coin over new F1 car (Reuters)

"If it's on the race, it will be a flick of the coin."

Manor to skip Barcelona post-GP test (Autosport)

"Asked about the approaches from other drivers, Lowdon added: 'There were some possibilities in that area, but it was the wrong time and focus for us.'"

Is Lewis Hamilton delaying new Mercedes deal in case Ferrari look a better prospect? (The Independent)

"The Formula One chief executive, Bernie Ecclestone, would love to see him in a red car, with McLaren’s underemployed Fernando Alonso taking his seat alongside Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, and if Hamilton really is interested in a switch, the later he leaves it, the better."

Lewis Hamilton refutes claims of Mercedes contract dispute (The Telegraph)

"There’s no questions on agreements. As I continue to say, it’s formality stuff. It’s not one person that makes decisions. It has to go through a filter of a billion people."

Gerhard Berger thinks Audi-Red Bull link-up is latter's best chance of success (Sky)

"Mercedes in the last two years has just put the game up three steps and Renault just didn’t invest."

Daniel Ricciardo Q&A: Red Bull’s situation not out of control (F1)

"Yes, definitely! (laughs) When you arrive in F1 and suddenly see all these guys you’ve watched on TV for some time you think: ‘wow, they are super heroes’. Then you race with them and win - brilliant. To go up against Seb last year was a good reality show for me."

Susie Wolff says she is good enough to race (BBC)

"If I did not think I was capable of racing at this level I would be the first to take myself out of the game"

Fifth engine plan is not dead yet, says Horner (Adam Cooper's F1 Blog)

"We’re probably going to use seven engines anyway, so for us it doesn’t really matter."

Your Favourite Spanish Grand Prix - 1991 Mansell & Senna (F1 via YouTube)


Comment of the day

As Max Verstappen settles into life as an F1 driver, do the complicated new superlicence rules introduced by the FIA in reaction to his appointment seem unnecessary?

Grief will likely come the way of fans and potential F1 drivers alike as the new superlicence rules come into effect. Some drivers who may meet the new qualifications will undoubtedly get seats before some more talented and deserving drivers. We all know this will happen.

The saddest irony here is that the rules appear to have been a knee jerk reaction to the age of Max Verstappen. Max has proven himself qualified and able to drive proficiently and competitively in F1 regardless of his chronological age.

Maybe the rules were a bit loose previously. But, the onus was on the teams to hire drivers with the proper skill levels, maturity and experience. Then the driver had to qualify under FIA requirements for their superlicense. What was wrong with that? If the FIA wished to put an age limit on the qualifications they should have done just that. Instead the FIA have created a tangled mess that will end up not even serving them well. This will come to tears and F1 fans will likely suffer in the process.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Mark Webber won the Spanish Grand Prix five years ago today while Lewis Hamilton crashed out of second place on the penultimate lap when a wheel failed. Fernando Alonso therefore finished second ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Spanish Grand Prix contract extended to 2019”

  1. Well, it’s the first time that I hear FIA made an overcomplicated rule, in order to address a simple issue.

    1. I love the sarcasm in this comment!

  2. 2019 you say!

    Well that should give them time to tarmac over every last piece of grass and gravel and put a chicane in the middle of turn 3.


    1. This is not twitter. I agree that Mercedes is against the 5th engine unlike sky who think Merc likes it. I get what Raikkonen said, he was on his 1st flyer through traffic and also on another couple outings. However I don’t get what ALonso said over the radio, that’s pure venting, not productive and a little damaging to McLaren, frustration is the right word and although I don’t get his demeanour at that moment his frustration is understandable.

      1. Relax. I think you are overanalyzing and projecting too much.
        If anything, Alonso’s remark sounded like a joke.

      2. #teamradioexpert

        1. @dimsim #nottwitter
          Just a comment, I would think being at home would put you on a better mood. @toxbox Mercedes board were about to pull the plug on F1, Lauda managed to convince Mercedes to stay by hiring Lewis.
          @Toeveryone It’s not Audi, it’s VW. Even when Berger said VW the headlines read Audi…

          1. I thought Mercedes got lewis on board by convincing him they would have a superior engine in the new engine spec? You’re telling me they had that all planned out and started the RnD then decided to pull the plug but decided to stay purely because they suddenly had lewis on board?

      3. However I don’t get what ALonso said over the radio, that’s pure venting

        @peartree It was more like pure joking – nothing to worry about.

  3. I cannot imagine why Audi would want to ditch their prototype program for F1. F1 offers less mileage over a season, greater expenses, more limited development and far more politics than the WEC. Formula 1 definitely needs Audi more than Audi needs F1.

    1. @jackysteeg They’ve won the elections for the WEC throne… 10 years ago. I couldn’t agree more with you, besides the fact that VW group would prefer to use the VW badge.
      How can someone say that Bernie would like to see Lewis in red? Bernie has been saying Lewis should stay put, in the end Lewis is why Merc is still in F1 and why F1 still has sustainability, albeit in the expensive model pushed by Merc and Renault.

      1. How is lewis the reason Mercedes is still in F1?

    2. I think that the previous decades taught us that manufacturers need F1 more than F1 needs manufacturers. WEC can’t even compare, their exposure there is less than 10% of what they would get in F1.

    3. The media are really hung up on Audi coming back like we are talking about the Messiah or something; There are 4 manufacturers for 20 cars which is pretty much a perfect balance and VAG has enough in its racing portfolio to not care…Costs are a more pressing issue!Also don’t lift Audi so high up on a pedestal as no matter the state of the sport manufacturers need F1 more than F1 needs them!What F1 can’t do without is privateer teams

    4. @jackysteeg, actually, these days the difference in cost between running in the WEC with a works team and competing in F1 as an engine supplier is not as large as you might think.

      Back in 2013, VW’s head of motorsport revealed to Auto Motor und Sport that Audi were spending over €100 million a year to compete in the WEC, and Audi were pushing him hard to increase that due to increased pressure from Toyota.

      At the same time, Mercedes’s engine division had a budget of about €140 million a year – although higher, it is worth noting that also included the cost to Mercedes of manufacturing engines for customer teams (whereas Audi has stated they will not supply customers), and the fees from their customers would be offsetting much of the difference in expenditure.

  4. Can we have some of the old track back now then??
    It was epic seeing the cars go around the last 2 fast right hander corners 10-15 years ago!!

    1. @5pud We can and we won’t :)

  5. I can’t stop laughing!!!Lotus aren’t doing Maldonado any favors by putting him in a war machine with blazing cannons/guns attached and the word “mad” on the side PLUS calling it his ideal car…I can already hear the internet trolling machine revving into high gear :D :D this picture will stick around for years and years…

    1. LMAO off at that tweet. Pastor fits the deranged f1 driver part perfectly.

      Pastor’s either a really good sport, or just incredibly thick.

  6. Sex aside, talent-wise speaking, I believe Susie can drive an F1 car but I don’t think she’s fast enough to be competing in F1. She was given a chance a few times this year and last year, in a Williams – the easily 3rd fastest car on the grid, if not 2nd last year, yet she failed to impress.

    She’s 32 already, there are very talented drivers in and out of F1, and much younger. I can’t see why a team should give her a seat when they can invest their money on much younger talents and build a strong relationship with them.

    1. @ducpham2708 Yeah, in that sense, it would make more sense to give Alex Lynn all the possible seat time to get him up to speed in F1. Take Vandoorne out of the equation (he should be in F1 by now) and Lynn would have a nice clear pole position in GP2 yesterday, ahead of DAMS team-mate Pierre Gasly, Mitch Evans and Alexander Rossi, another few who are in the same position.

  7. How can 1991 be the most voted upon Spanish GP memory? Mansell won in a car with active suspension in damp conditions, anything but a victory would have been a testiment to others around him… I’m baffled… 1994, schumacher finished 2nd despite being stuck in 5th gear. In 1996, Schumacher destroyed the field in wet conditions, lapping all but 2 cars, in a car that was lucky to finish in the top 6, let alone on the top step of the podium. There are other spanish gp’s that are memorable that don’t include Schumi, but I’m still baffled as to why the 1991 Spanish GP is memorable?

    1. I’m guessing it’s simply because of that Senna vs Mansell moment.

      It’s also a shame that these “official” polls do not include stuff like the 1981 Spanish GP with the famous Villeneuve train.

      1. 1981 GP wasn’t held in Barcelona, maybe that’s why. Anyway I agree with dragoll; 1996 GP definitely the best for me.

    2. Because it was great to watch at the time, that’s why – to see those two centimetres apart down the straight with sparks flying (and that was when men were men and sparks were sparks).
      Like many of Schumi’s achievements, those races were pretty dull to watch, with little competition.
      Maldonado v Alonso in 2012 was good too, for the will-he-won’t-he story and the tension.

  8. Manor seems barely alive since the start of the season. Really painful to watch. A team I started to support and learned to like with supporting d’Ambrosio, then our fellow Jules, what a blow.

    1. I really hope they get the 2015 Ferrari engine soon, they could score again with it.

    2. It’s a worry, they’ll be failing to qualify before long (or having to talk their way into the race) if they can’t even test.

      Even more maddening to see the Strategy Group bickering, saying “let’s not change anything, it might cost us too much” (see the 2017 rules story yesterday) while the teams on the outside are struggling to even function. Force India are having to pay suppliers upfront or whatever, which is good, but not the way a team’s used to operating.

      What’s the point of signing two good drivers, then not developing the car and letting them go to waste? Cecotto and Canamasas in quick cars would be more entertaining to watch… Sounds like Hulkenberg will have more WEC points than F1 ones for some time.

      1. Sounds like Hulkenberg will have more WEC points than F1 ones for some time.

        He might not be around the F1 paddock for long. I would actually be very surprised if Hulkenberg doesn’t announce a switch to Porsche’s WEC programme by the end of the season. Se seemed to fit in quite well at Spa.

  9. Reading the Telegraph piece about how Lewis’ contract is just being held up by bureaucracy at Daimler – that doesn’t seem to have happened over any other contracts like Nico’s last year or Lewis’ original contract does it?

    So the only two explanations that come to mind are that Lewis is asking for something new and different, or the Ferrari option.

  10. Michael Brown
    10th May 2015, 20:41

    Bring back Valencia!

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