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Spanish GP negotiations 'completely alive'

2019-05-09 10:05

Image: AFP

Negotiations to keep Barcelona on the F1 calendar are "completely alive".

That is the claim of what the Spanish newspaper Marca calls an "authorised source".  Recent reports suggested Spanish GP officials had failed to reach a new deal with Liberty Media for 2020 and beyond.

The source said: "The negotiations are completely alive and are going to intensify after the grand prix on Sunday and throughout the month of June.

"We want to renew and keep organising this event, and my feeling today is optimism.  I think in the end we are going to reach an agreement."

The latest news about Barcelona's demise started in Baku, when a publication with close links to Liberty Media said the race would be replaced for 2020 by Zandvoort.

Marca reports: "But Zandvoort needs a EUR 100 million upgrade, and some works will not be ready in a year."

The Circuit de Catalunya source admitted that renewal talks slowed down in January.

"It is true that we thought we would make the announcement then, but there were adjustments that forced us to delay everything.

"But we remain interested, and so is Liberty."

The source said the only problem is financial, with the circuit needing either a lower annual race fee or an "improvement of our income" through more favourable contract terms.

"There is a tug of war, but nothing unresolvable so far," the Barcelona source continued.

"I repeat that I am optimistic, although it is true that there is no middle ground here.  Either it is renewed or it is not."

Marca said Jerez is a possible alternative for the Spanish grand prix, but a race there would require EUR 4 million in upgrades.

"They have presented a serious proposal to Liberty, but they already know it is more like a dream.  Winter testing is another story," the newspaper said.

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