Red Bull chief Christian Horner believes retaining the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as an Formula 1 testing venue would make sense, even if the race is dropped.

According to reports, the Spanish Grand Prix is set to be chopped off the 2020 F1 calendar to make way for the return of the Dutch Grand Prix next season, with this year’s Barcelona round set to be the last held at the circuit.

Barcelona has been a prominent fixture in F1 since its inaugural race in 1991, while it has also held a number of pre-season and in-season tests in recent years due to its convenient location and track layout.

“I think it would be a great shame if we don’t come back racing in Barcelona but we certainly should continue to test here,” Horner said.

“I think being European-based, far enough south to have a sensible weather and from a cost point of view, it’s cost-efficient for the European-based teams to come and test here.

“And it’s a good track, it’s got a combination of low-speed, medium-speed and high-speed corners, so it would be a shame if it doesn’t get utilised for at least testing duties.

“The teams have a good reference around here. It’s convenient and the weather is usually pretty sensible for pre-season testing.

“I would certainly be supportive of coming here prior to next year.”

‘Max factor’ will make Dutch GP “immense”

It is understood a deal to return to Zandvoort, which last hosted a grand prix event in 1985, is set to be announced on Tuesday morning.

Horner reckons that the return of the Dutch GP will be “immense” for the sport, particularly with the rise in popularity of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.

“We saw it here in Spain when [Fernando] Alonso was in his peak,” Horner said. “We see the amount of Dutch fans around the world, it just seems to be growing and growing.

“So I think a Dutch Grand Prix, with the popularity of Verstappen, is going to be immense. I think that’s positive for F1.”

Asked about concerns as to whether the circuit’s tight and twisty layout will suit modern-day F1 machinery, Horner replied: “Monaco’s not exactly flush with overtaking opportunities.

“Obviously they’ve got some bits to do with the circuit, which I’m sure they’ll get done.

“Subject to it being announced, I think it will be an interesting grand prix and I think it will be quite a spectacle to see that many fans there.”

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