Governor Artur Mas told the El Pais newspaper: “The continuity of the Formula One race at this circuit is guaranteed this year and probably also for the next.”
And by the sounds of it, the future of the event relates to that age-old chestnut: money.
“I hope it can be sustained for the future, but that will depend on the evolution of the economic situation and the results obtained in the next two years,” he added.
“The situation is what it is; I’m not here to fool anybody. I know the value of hosting an F1 race and motor racing is a sector that drives the economy.
“I will do my best, but we cannot hide from the truth. We need to reduce the budgets,” he continued.
It is understood that the contract to stage the race at the Circuit de Catalunya – which has held the Spanish round since 1991 – runs out in 2016, and it is believed that the event organisers currently stump up an annual promotional fee of €13 million to Formula One Management for the privilege.
Worse still, it is also believed that the promotional fee will have doubled by the end-date of the contract.
The recent global economic slowdown has caused many governments to tighten their purse strings, and Spain was particularly hard-hit by the downturn.
“We are in a time of severe budgetary constraints and it’s going to affect everything a little bit,” Mas is quoted by the EFE news agency.
“We need to move through these two difficult years and, if we recover, the contract we have for a few more years we will see in a bit of a better light.”
[Original image via LAT]
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