Organisers of Barcelona F1 race plead with government for support
The Reial Automobil Club de Catalunya, the organisation in charge of hosting motor racing’s Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, has appealed to local and federal governments to provide it with business support.
The RACC said: "The RACC asks the government, the Spanish state, and other administrations and businesses, [to show] collaboration, consensus, solidity and unity to reach a stable agreement so that for the next few years the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya continues to host F1."
The club added: "The circuit is one of the most important sports infrastructures in Catalonia and the event has a media impact that gives our country maximum visibility."This support, the Automobil Club has said, would allow the Montmelo circuit in Barcelona to continue staging the annual race. The RACC said that hosting the race generates in the region of €163 million ($182 million) for the local economy.
However, in 2017 the circuit recorded a loss of €7.5 million, having lost much of its government support in the last few years. The contract between the track and Liberty Media, F1's owners, runs out at the end of this season, and it is thought that no new deal or extension is close.
The track, which has hosted the Spanish Grand Prix since 1991, is majority-owned by the Catalan government (which owns 76 per cent), and its main venue sponsor is Barcelona City Council.
The German, British, Italian and Mexican Grand Prix's also all have hosting contracts which expire at the end of the current season.
With the addition last month of the Netherlands Grand Prix for next season, if no races are axed then F1 faces the prospect of a 23-race season. This comes at a time when the teams are thought to want to keep the season to 21 races or, potentially, fewer.
However, Chase Carey, Liberty Group's president and chief executive, said in May last year, "We want to be in Barcelona for the long term."