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Valencia to cut cost of F1

2012-01-20 08:36

MADRID, Spain - The Valencia regional government in Spain is negotiating with Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone to try to cut the cost of staging the city's Grand Prix.

According to local media, the heavily-indebted Valencia administration pays around R205-million to stage the European G and agreed a 10-year contract in June 2011.

However president Alberto Fabra said the region was under pressure to make deep budget cuts as part of a wide-ranging austerity drive by Spain's central government. Fabra said he was seeking "a substantial cost reduction".

COST-CUTTING

"We are looking at various alternatives that do not constitute a significant outlay. At the same time, they would have to serve as an attraction so that a lot of people come to the region. We need to find this balance which will be attractive in the current conditions."

Fabra's bid to cut the cost of the GP has reportedly created a rift between the regional government and the city administration, the latter led by Valencia's mayor, Rita Barbera.

The city has said that the race brings in revenue equivalent to R565-million and Barbera believes attracting visitors is even more important in a time of economic hardship.

Reuters