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Valencia seeks redrawing of financial terms
1 August 2012
Regional politicians are seeking talks with Bernie Ecclestone in order to reduce the cost of hosting the F1 circus in Valencia in a bid to keep the city's street circuit on the calendar in 2014.
With current Spanish GP venue Barcelona and European GP host Valencia apparently on course to share the country's round of the world championship from next season, the latter is keen to reduce the financial impact while continuing to enjoy the benefit that attracting F1 fans can bring to the city. Both venues have reported that they cannot expect to continue hosting a championship round on an annual basis unless amendments are made to their existing deals.
"F1 is very important, not only from an image point of view, but also due to the economic impact, the creation of jobs and what that means for the Valencia region," secretary general of the region's ruling party, Serafin Castellano, said, "so we are in a process of negotiation to reduce the cost of the F1 levy."
Spain has been particularly hard hit by Europe's ongoing financial meltdown, with national unemployment approaching 23 per cent and austerity measures already being implemented.
Perhaps the bigger impediment to Valencia's hopes of remaining on the schedule, however, could come from investment in Barcelona's own bid. Although the two cities had apparently come to an interim agreement that would have seen the circus return to Montmelo in 2013 and then head to Valencia's port-side street circuit the following year, reports in Spain's
newspaper a couple of months ago suggested that the Circuit de Catalunya had attracted a new investor that could help it afford the hosting fees that were at the root of its decision to run biennially.
It is believed that Barcelona City Council could become part of the Circuit de Catalunya Consortium, providing greater symbiosis with the internationally-recognised 'Barcelona brand', which has already seen visitors to this year's race take up offers to include other aspects of the city in the stay.
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