Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Sainz fears it’s “too late” to save Spanish GP for 2020

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Carlos Sainz Jnr fears it may be too late to ensure the Spanish Grand Prix has a place on the 2020 F1 calendar.

The Circuit de Catalunya is one of five venues on this year’s schedule which does not have a confirmed place on the 2020 calendar. There are rumours the race could be dropped to make way for the return of the Dutch Grand Prix.

Sainz, the only Spanish driver in F1 following Fernando Alonso’s retirement at the end of last season, is concerned for the future of his home race.

“Obviously for me would be a big loss in the calendar,” he said. “But as far as I know negotiations are still ongoing and nothing has been confirmed. So from here just wishing that all the institutions are going to do their job, they’ve going to agree on something.

“I think it’s in the benefit of Barcelona, of Spain, of Formula 1, I think the Spanish Grand Prix has a lot of history in Formula 1. I think this track has a lot of history in Formula 1 and it would be a big shame to lose it. So hopefully they can agree on something, maybe not next year because it’s too late, but hopefully agree something on the future.”

Asked whether he would like the race to return to Jerez, the last track to hold the Spanish Grand Prix before the Circuit de Catalunya, Sainz said the Barcelona venue remains his first choice.

“This city, this track, deserves to be in Formula 1,” he said. “If you could add Jerez then even better because I have two. And if you don’t keep Barcelona I wouldn’t mind having Jerez. So that’s pretty much my order of priority if you ask me now.”

Video: How the Circuit de Catalunya has changed since its first Spanish Grand Prix

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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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17 comments on “Sainz fears it’s “too late” to save Spanish GP for 2020”

  1. DAllein (@)
    9th May 2019, 15:24

    Yeah, F1, go ahead, replace a true classic with a circuit no one asked for (except Verstappen fans).

    It is the same story as with Valencia – let’s add another race in Spain, because everyone loves Alonso. Except not everyone and actually no one wanted the second race there.

    Shows once again how F1 is run exclusively by those, who can see only as far ahead as next year, totally disregarding the past and long-term “needs” of the sport.

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      9th May 2019, 16:02

      Does anyone really consider catalunya a true classic? Most people i know and me just consider it the test track they happen to race too. I actually would consider Zandvoort a classic before catalunya.

      1. Pedro Andrade
        9th May 2019, 16:20

        Agreed, Barcelona’s track frequently leads to snooze-fests… I wouldn’t mind replacing it with another track in Spain once in a while (Jerez, Motorland Aragon…).

        Even better, bring back the Portuguese GP!

        1. Zandvoort is 4km from my home .. really cool to have a F1 race here. I can cycle from my home to the track .. it is awesome :)

      2. DAllein (@)
        9th May 2019, 17:56

        Well, I think you are not in majority.
        And yes – many do consider Barcelona a classic.

        Yeah, try to ahead with Zandvoort (or any non-southern European circuits) in the beginning of May. +12C, really the temperature for racing.

        1. May can be 3 or 30Celsius here in Holland So expect every year a different race.

  2. Great video Keith. Most informative, thanks for making!

    1. @sloppysmusic You’re welcome, glad you enjoyed it!

      1. If you ever did a similar job for other tracks as a series I would be one very interested viewer! I find track evolvement from dirt roads to modern tarmac and kerbing somehow romantic and fascinating. Especially learning of the decisions or incidents that influenced the evolution. I subscribed of course!

  3. Zandvoort is too compact so I don’t think they will go there. Why not Aragon for a Spanish GP? It’s more modern and probably better for racing than Barcelona is.

    1. Zandvoort is already a done deal .. this race will also be sponsored by Heineken. My uncle has heard from business contacts that the race will be held on zandvoort on the 3th or 10th of may next year .. Liberty Media and Zandvoort will announce it next tuesday (or next friday at the jumbo racedagen). It is just a couple of km from my home so i can cycle to the track .. it will be awesome .. a sea of orange with more then 100 thousand fans :)

      1. btw i don’t know if they replace Barcelona or that they add Zandvoort to the calendar …

      2. DAllein (@)
        9th May 2019, 18:00

        Good luck with +12C next year. Or even snow… like happened in Spa the past weekend.

        Really stupid.

        (not you. Those who are deciding and making such stupid decisions)

        1. Zandvoort has a sea climate and therefore it never snows in may (never seen snow here in may my entire life). It can be cool in may but +12C is very low temperature for Zandvoort .. most of the time it is between 15 to 20 degrees or even more in may. On the Nurnburgring it was +5C last weekend and the racing was fine for DTM and W series!

  4. I really wish they would go back to using the original layout for Turn 10. The old turn 10 was a wonderful challenging fun corner, Especially on the exit due to having to apply throttle while turning & going slightly uphill.
    The corner they replaced it with in 2004 (For the sake of overtaking) is a boring bog standard slow hairpin that just isn’t all that fun or interesting.

    Same goes for that dreadful chicane at the end that ruined 2 fantastic corners. Probably the worst corner of any circuit on the current F1 calendar with the T10 revisions not far behind it.

    Aside from those changes I actually love the rest of the track, Has a great flow to it & is fun to watch cars been driven & it’s a great circuit to drive around in the games.

    1. @stefmeister, it is unlikely to be used in the future though, in part because other racing series have dropped that layout as well – for example, MotoGP switched to the tightened version of Turn 10 after Luis Salom was killed in 2016 (they had been using the older layout until then).

  5. Why not keep the Spanish GP but in Jerez?

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