Spanish GP extends deal…2019 here we come!

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Having hosted a leg of the Formula 1 world championship for the past 25 years, it now appears that the Circuit de Catalunya has extended its F1 investment until 2019.

It’s good news if you’re keen to see many of the European races remain on the calendar since Germany has gone all D.B. Cooper on us this year. It does make you wonder how Spain can afford the pony up the big dosh while Germany, Europe’s financial powerhouse, couldn’t be bothered to field a race this year.

The Circuit de Catalunya is a challenging track and the teams test extensively there in pre-season for good reason. It’s 2.8 miles with 16 turns and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen holds the lap record so they have that going for them.

The Circuit de Catalunya holds over 140,000 folks so let’s see how many Spaniards show up to watch their champion, Fernando Alonso, muscle that Honda-powered McLaren to 13th. Hey, I think they will be in the points at this race but I’ve learned from my McLaren friends that you have to heap much disdain on them when they are not doing well. I guess that’s just how Macca fans role.

Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT

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MIE

I was surprised to hear on the BBC 5 Chequered Flag podcast from Pedro de la Rosa that more people turn up to the F1 race than to the Moto GP. Unlike the newer races in Asia and the Middle East the European races are not government funded, so the promoters have to try and make a profit in order to make the event sustainable. That Barcelona has negotiated a new contract with FOM can only be good news.

Tom Firth

Yes, though motogp does have four, if not five rounds a year in Spain.

Alonso-mania did seriously change the fortunes of Spanish motorsport from from the automotive racing side, however from the attendance perspective. Alot more financing to help riders occurs in Spain though I believe still.

MIE

Very true, I suspect that the attendance figure would suffer quite a lot if there were more Grand Prix in the country. Do you know what happened when the European race was held at Valencia?

Certainly in the UK the Silverstone attendance was down in 1993 due to the European race at Donnington that year. If there were four or five races the attendance would be at BTCC levels, but only if the tickets were cheaper.

Tom Firth

The numbers for Catalunya are far lower than the numbers of fans at the venue in 2007, Valencia’s introduction in 2008, is cited as a reason for that, however it is impossible to entirely quantify what effect Valencia had, with the spanish economy being hit harder than most european countries in that period, a smaller chance of Alonso being as prominent in the running order and Valencia itself struggling for attendance somewhat, its not hard to imagine other factors played a large part. The circuit at Montmelo is owned by the state government, 80% of it is anyway, or was… Read more »

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