Catalunya keeps place on Formula 1 calendar
The Spanish Grand Prix has survived for at least one more year after an agreement was reached between Formula 1 and the Catalan government for 2020.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was one of five grands prix coming off contract at the end of the current season, amid the addition of the brand-new Vietnamese Grand Prix and return of the Dutch Grand Prix.
However, the Catalan government announced at the start of the month that it had given permission for the company which owns the circuit, of which it is a majority shareholder, to sign a new deal with Liberty Media.
The Montmelo track has now been confirmed as a venue on the 2020 calendar.
“We are pleased to confirm that the Spanish Grand Prix will be on the calendar of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship,” said F1 CEO Chase Carey.
“The decision to continue to stage a round of the pinnacle of motor sport in Spain, a country with a great motor racing tradition, dating back to the start of the last century, is part of our strategy of maintaining Formula 1’s European roots, while also currently expanding the championship into new territories.”
Quim Torra, President of the Government of Catalunya, is pleased that a round of the world championship will be held at the circuit for the 30th year in a row.
“Throughout the 30 years, we have integrated this event in the industrial policies of the Government, and the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is an important a tool to stimulate the economic activity in the country in terms of tourism, as well as in the automobile and entertainment industry,” he said.
“We are grateful for the excellent relationship with Chase Carey, Formula 1 Chairman and CEO, and we are well aware that our current challenge is to make sure that the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya keeps up maintains this role, both as economic driver and as a link to our sports and industrial tradition.”
The agreement would seem to be only for next year, although Carey also stated in the announcement that, “In the coming months, we will continue our discussions to see if we can further extend this advantageous relationship.”
The latest renewal locks in at least 21 grands prix in 2020, but with Carey having indicated that rumours of an expansion to 22 races next year are true, then Monza is likely to remain.
F1 resumes from its summer break with this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.