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Spanish races to alternate says Bernie

Over the past few couple of months there have been a lot of rumours and comments about the future of both races in Spain.

The governments of Catalunya and City of Valencia who host the Spanish and European Grand Prix's have both recently revealed that due to financial reasons they are having to consider their current contracts with Formula One.

Valencia's city government has stated that it wants to renegotiate its race fee, which is in the region of £20.6million per year, while Catalunya's minister for economy Andreu Mas-Colell has been quoted as saying that they would have to consider their future position in regards to hosting the Formula One and MotoGP races.

Both venues will host their respected Grand Prix's in 2012, but from next season, the compromise appears to be the idea to alternate between the tracks.

'Both Valencia and Barcelona have agreed that the best way is to alternate, and now we are trying to choose the dates, We wanted to see how we could help Valencia, and alternating with Barcelona is a good solution. Sharing the race will be a good idea, providing they are all fine with it.' Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser as quoted by Autosport Magazine.

The German Grand Prix has a similar system, with the hosting of the race alternating every year between the Hockenheim track and the Nurburgring, while there is reportedly also negotiations to see a similar agreement between Spa and France, to bring the French Grand Prix back to Formula One. That deal would be seen to be helping out Belgium to halve their costs of hosting the race by only holding the race bi-annually, while also seeing F1 return to Paul Ricard for the first time since 1990.

However it isn't clear how the hosts of the Barcelona track feel about the proposal.

Two weeks ago, the head of the Circuit de Catalunya, Salvador Servia had spoken defiantly that not only does the race in Barcelona have an immediately future, but he wants it to continue its long association with Formula One, beyond their current contract which runs until 2016.

'Only a disaster - say, an earthquake - is a problem. Forget all the rumours and headlines, we are still working as we were before,' Servia told Vuelta Rapida radio.

'If there are five [future races in Europe] then we want to be one of them, and we will fight to be.

'We have had no communications, either verbal or written from him [F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone] or his organisation regarding the issues of the rumours and headlines.

'We are here, working to fulfil our contract until 2016 and thinking about 2020 as well.'

While the president of Barcelona's track Vicente Aguilera has revealed that negotiations have taken place, but a deal is yet to be struck.

'We are negotiating and we have a positive attitude, At this moment nothing is agreed.' he told sports daily newspaper Marca as quoted by the BBC.

Bernie Ecclestone has previously expressed his desire to cut the number of races in Europe and a plan to alternate races around a number of tracks could be an idea to keep the European races on the calendar fresh, while keeping a number of countries happy with lower hosting costs.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday March 10 2012

Time: 11:00AM


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