Spain chasing one of Europe’s summer slots

Date published: April 28 2020

Spanish-GP-Barcelona-start-lap-1-2019-PA

The Circuit de Catalunya is confident of taking one of the summer European dates on the revised F1 calendar.

The Spanish Grand Prix was initially scheduled for 10 May, however, was put on the postponed list as one by one Formula 1 venues either cancelled or postponed their grands prix.

France is the latest to join that list, announcing that the Paul Ricard event has officially been cancelled.

This means Austria is likely to start the season in early July before Formula 1 moves over to Great Britain.

Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya has said it is also available to take one of the European slots with the revised calendar expected to remain in Europe for July and August.

“Since the beginning what we offered to Chase [Carey, F1 boss] is that we want to be on the same page,” circuit general manager Joan Fonsere told Autosport.

“Obviously if they think we can help the sport of F1 to have a stronger and better world championship in the future, we will be there.

“That’s the way we’ve acted from the beginning to today.

“We offered them the possibility of Barcelona organising an event, as we have 30 years of experience, and we are very well located in terms of logistics.

“We are in close contact now with F1 and having conversations about a new date in the season.

“As Chase says, they are starting the season in Europe in July/August, and we will be there, around those dates, for sure.”

A summer race is usually not a winner for Spain with many locals on holiday.

However, given that tourism is unlikely to be in a full swing by summer, Fonsere reckons it won’t be a problem.

“They asked us if there is any date which is not possible for us, and we said ‘no’,” he added.

“We want to run the event, and we can manage and organise everything to help F1.

“In a regular year, August in Spain everyone is on holiday, but I think 2020 will be an exceptional year, with a completely different calendar.

“If you talked to me one year ago I would have said, ‘Please, not August!’

“But now it’s OK, also because the reduced format of event would be a good starting point not just for the track facility, but also for the hotels surrounding the area – not starting in a full throttle way.

“We can run an event like that with no spectators in two or three weeks.

“We can manage that easily, because we have 320 days per year of activity at the track, so our machine is ready when the lights go out.

“Obviously with no attendance it will be much easier because there is no marketing campaign, no spectator control, etc.”

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