Barcelona still hoping for annual F1 presence

Organisers of the Spanish grand prix in Barcelona are clinging to the idea the race can continue to be an annual presence on the F1 calendar.

Bernie Ecclestone said last weekend that, amid Spain’s economic crisis, a deal has effectively been struck to alternate a single annual race date between Barcelona and the sport’s other struggling Spanish host, Valencia. But the president of the Catalonia government, Artur Mas, is not so sure.

According to El Pais, he said on Sunday that – together with the city of Barcelona – it is still being contemplated whether the alternating scheme with Valencia is the only option.

“Rather than talk about the alternation with Valencia, now in Catalonia we are focused on making efforts to hold a grand prix that takes us to the world, from many points of view,” he said. “What we have is an economic promotion, and work for many people, which is exactly what the country needs,” he is quoted as saying by Catalunya Radio.

“(The alternation) with Valencia, we’ll see. For now what is needed is to make efforts in Catalonia,” he said at the Spanish grand prix.