The Circuit de Catalunya will continue to host the Spanish Grand Prix until 2016 after Bernie Ecclestone announced a contract extension of a further five years.

Agreeing the deal with Josep Lluis Carod-Rovira, President of the Circuit de Catalunya Consortium and Vice-President of the Catalan Government ahead of the 2007 Spanish Grand Prix, the extension comes after Valencia secured a slot on the 2008 calendar just days ago.

Ensuring the Spanish Grand Prix will remain in Barcelona for the foreseeable future, with Valencia assuming the European Grand Prix moniker, the move quells rumours that the Catalan city would lose the right to host the event after 2011.

A popular testing and race venue, particularly in light of Fernando Alonso's success, the circuit has been steadily updated over the years, although with their future on the Formula 1 calendar ensured, Carod-Rovira believes this is a chance for them to improve yet further.

"The Circuit will be able to work with a long term vision," he said. "Having F1 races here until 2016 is not enough: we are also striving to become the best racetrack in the world."

Ecclestone was also pleased to have concluded the deal, the F1 supremo claiming the circuit's quality and facilities continue to make it a benchmark for prospective venues.

"With these people, it is not necessary to sign a contract because a handshake is enough. When someone asks me what they have to do to construct a quality circuit, I just tell them to go and see the one in Barcelona."



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