Iconic circuit reveals €50 million investment plan as fresh call against F1 axe is made

Henry Valantine
The start of the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

Barcelona's F1 future is under intense scrutiny following the arrival of Madrid onto the calendar.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has announced a significant investment package as it bids to keep its place on the F1 calendar.

Its current deal to host Formula 1 carries it until the 2026 season, but the arrival of Madrid from that year, along with Spain’s capital taking on the Spanish Grand Prix name, has thrown Barcelona’s F1 future into doubt – so measures are being taken to try and keep it on the calendar.

Barcelona announces investment to try and keep F1 place beyond 2026

Barcelona’s contractual status means that Spain will have two races on the calendar in 2026, but beyond that, whether or not Madrid will be the sole Spanish race host is yet to be seen.

After the all-new race was announced, F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali was keen to stress the quality of relationship the sport has with promoters in Barcelona and did not shut down the possibility of two Spanish races in future, despite the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya gearing up to lose its Spanish Grand Prix status after next season.

As a result, work has intensified on updating the circuit’s hospitality facilities, set to hold up to 8,000 people on Grand Prix weekend, along with modernisation measures that include a new pit lane building and VIP grandstand, with total investment set to reach €50million [£42.8m].

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Speaking to media this week, circuit director Josep Lluis Santamaria maintained his hope that the circuit’s infrastructure changes will be enough to keep the track on the calendar beyond the end of its current contract.

“I don’t see why two Formula 1 Grands Prix cannot coexist in Spain in the future, there are three in the United States and two in Italy, and there can be two here as well,” Santamaria said, as quoted by the Italian edition of Motorsport.com.

“We are sportsmen and, of course, we like competition, so you can’t hide the fact that when you compete you have stimuli. But we have always said that the work we are completing started much earlier, more than two years ago, and was the result of agreements made with F1.”

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been a prominent testing destination alongside its status as Spanish Grand Prix host since its construction and arrival onto the F1 calendar in 1991, and in a statement from racetrack management, it said: “This €50million investment plan until 2026 aims to modernise and adapt the Circuit to the new requirements, promoting a more sustainable, innovative, industrial and digital model with the objective of transforming the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya into a key infrastructure for the country’s industry, not only in terms of hosting motorsports, but also events of all kinds.”

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