Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

‘90% chance’ of new Spanish GP deal for 2020

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The president of the Circuit de Catalunya says there is a more than 90% chance the Spanish Grand Prix will return at the track in 2020

Vicenc Aguilera told RaceFans he expects a new deal to keep the race on the 2020 F1 calendar will be signed before the summer break.

“If it’s a clear game of ‘go/no-go’ I think today we are even more than 90 [percent],” he told RaceFans.

“We should be able to reach an agreement before the peak of the summer,” said Aguilera. “I don’t know if it will be July but I expect an agreement on these dates. We are preparing everything to have that.”

The race is one of five rounds on this year’s schedule whose contract expires at the end of this year. The addition of a new race in Vietnam next year, plus the possible return of the Dutch Grand Prix, has put Catalunya under pressure.

Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey told a Liberty Media investor call earlier this week the sport has “agreements in principle on two renewals, and are actively engaged on three other renewals.”

However “the math means that we will not be able to renew all our current races”, he added.

Carey visited the area in March and met with politicians and stakeholders in the race. Aguilera believes a deal can be found to satisfy all parties.

“We have two discussions: internal discussions with my shareholders and the discussions with Liberty. There are two levels of discussions and we need to find a way to put everything in the right position to match the expectations of our government, our shareholders and the expectations of Liberty to make visible a new contract.

“[It] is not fixed if it should be two, three or four years. This is not a big issue, of course a big issue is economics. We are willing to have the grands prix for the next years. We are trying our best and we will keep pushing.”

A factor in the race’s favour is the lack of competition from other possible venues in Spain or neighbouring Portugal, says Aguilera.

“There is talk also about a street race also in Madrid but behind [it] there is nothing,” he said.

“They still talk about Jerez but it’s not possible. They are suffering to pay the fee of motorcycle and then they will put a fee of Formula 1?

“Internally we have no competition. Also Portugal says ‘we are here’ but not consistently.”

Aguilera says he is “optimistic” the race will go ahead next year. “If we are killed, we will be killed in the last minute and I should keep the optimism for everybody: for us, for my shareholders, for the central government, for everyone.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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7 comments on “‘90% chance’ of new Spanish GP deal for 2020”

  1. DAllein (@)
    11th May 2019, 8:45

    Fingers crossed they keep Barcelona!

    Besides there’s actually no alternative (except maybe absent Portugal) to start the European season – the weather is just not there.

    To Zandvoort likers – I am not going to join your discussions. Let’s keep it respectful.

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      11th May 2019, 10:55

      Is weather actually a consideration? I mean, we don’t race during winter anyway, so why does it matter?

    2. @dallein Which is precisely why Zandvoort (should it join F1 next season) should be put in June, or July instead of May, i.e., should Circuit de Catalunya drop then Circuit Paul Ricard should fill the gap in the first half of May instead as its climate is similar to that of Barcelona unlike Zandvoort’s, which is on-line with likes of Silverstone and Spa.

  2. ColdFly (@)
    11th May 2019, 8:59

    Distance wise Paul Ricard and Monaco are more competition than Jerez or Lisbon.

    But as Carey said there will be 1-2 new venues on the calendar and they cannot keep all three of those where they are not close to a deal.
    Thus the chance of retaining Barcelona looks more like 33-67%.

  3. Chase Carey is in Zandvoort tuesday to anounce the Dutch GP. So 90% for Barcelona is, I think, a bit on the positive side of things.

    1. Or maybe to move Barcelona to june that could be possible. Zandvoort will be the first circuit in Europe 1-3 May

      1. @macleod MotoGP races in June/July usually here… not sure if that’d fit in well… I mean, motorbikes are BIG in spain, they get 4 races and they fill the track… plus it’s a lot cheaper to host

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