Valencia only days away from dropping off F1 calendar

By on Friday, March 2, 2012

Valencia Street Circuit

With serious doubts over the future of the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park, the Valencia Street Circuit has become the next track linked to being dropped off the Formula 1 calendar. The Spanish circuit has been the host of the European Grand Prix since 2008, and has failed to produce any truly exciting races.

It has emerged from Spanish newspaper, El Pais, that the regional government have yet to pay Bernie Ecclestone the fee for this years race, which is scheduled to take place in late June. A spokesman has said that the regional government are still negotiating, but with the growing amount of other nations interested in hosting an F1 race, Bernie could be quick to axe the venue before the 2012 season even starts.

With the government apparently hit hard by the current European economic crisis, the Spanish region's president Alberto Fabra has explained how they are reviewing their current commitment to hosting an F1 race, even if it does mean breaching their contract.

“Formula 1 is not our primary concern,” explained Alberto Fabra, regarding their commitment to the sport. The President then went on to say he had no idea whether the fee for hosting the race had been paid to Bernie Ecclestone, creating further confusion over the subject.

It has also recently come to light that the nation's other race, the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya is also reviewing their contract. The regional government of Catalonia have expressed their wish to see the Valencia Street Circuit and the Circuit de Catalunya alternate the hosting of the Spanish Grand Prix, instead of potentially losing both races.

"For budgetary reasons, this (solution) would be best," said a spokesman for Catalan president Artur Mas.

If a solution cannot be agreed upon by both governments and Ecclestone, the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona and the European Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit could well become the latest venues to leave the Formula 1 calendar.

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