F1 open to fee renegotiations on ghost races

Date published: April 22 2020

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General manager of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Joan Fontsere, has said Liberty Media are willing to renegotiate race fees for tracks that hold behind-closed-doors Formula 1 racing.

‘Ghost’ races are becoming a viable option as part of a revised 2020 Formula 1 schedule as bosses try to salvage a season that has been ruined by the ongoing health crisis.

And one track boss has gone on record to say that Liberty are willing to help those circuits host at least some form of racing, the safest of which could be having TV-only events with empty grandstands.

“They [Formula 1] are conscious that this is an exceptional situation,” Fontsere said via Associated Press.

“We are obviously on the same page. If they want to keep some races on because of the TV rights, because of the teams…they know that our income [will be reduced], they realize that this year it will be like that, so for sure we are on the same page.

“When the Catalan government invests in F1, it’s not only for the tickets that we sell, it’s also for the financial impact that the event has in the country, in Catalonia.

“The economic impact for the country will be very reduced. It means no income for taxis, for hotels, so that changes completely the agreement between the two parties.

“We need to reduce two things: costs and risks.

“So the fewer people we move, the smaller the risk, and the fewer days we use and the fewer activities we do, the lower the costs.

“It’s an exceptional season and exceptional decisions need to be taken.”

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