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Monday, January 9, 2012

Barcelona government may reconsider F1 grand prix deal

Barcelona government may reconsider F1 grand prix deal

Catalunya's government says it may need to rethink the hosting of Formula 1 and MotoGP events given the difficult economic situation.

"We could reconsider the hosting of Formula 1 or motorcycle grands prix," Andreu Mas-Colell, Catalunya's minister for economy, told RAC1 radio.

"It is not clear to us that we can afford them in the current situation.

"It is not the first thing we will reconsider, but in times like these we must look very closely at where we spend the money."

Mas-Colell's comments come after the Valencian government said it wanted to renegotiate its contract with Bernie Ecclestone in order to reduce costs.

Valencia has hosted the European Grand Prix since the 2008 season.

The Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona has been a part of the Formula 1 calendar since 1991, but officials said last year that the future of the event beyond this season would depend on economic factors.

Barcelona has a deal to host the race until 2016 and Mas-Colell said the situation must be looked at carefully in order to make sure breaking a contract does not cost more than hosting the race.

"There are contracts that are more expensive to maintain than to break," he added.

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