The Hermann-Tilke designed track will chart a course around the city’s Americas Cup port. The city announced a seven-year deal with Bernie Ecclestone today.
It will be the first time that F1 has visited two true street circuits in a year since 1991, when races were held at Monte-Carlo, Monaco and Pheonix, United States.
The circuit design appears quite tight and twisty but without seeing the size of the roads to be used it is difficult to gauge how good it will be for actual racing. (Click image for larger version).
Ecclestone discarded the earlier suggestion of racing at the nearby Ricardo Tomo circuit, where many F1 teams test during the winter. That circuit is almost certainly too tight for F1 cars to race properly.
Naming the race the European Grand Prix may cause problems for the owners of the Nurburgring. They are holding the German round of the championship this year but are expected to use the ‘European Grand Prix’ title because the owners of the Hockenheimring (which hosts the race next year) won’t let them use the ‘German Grand Prix’ title.
With the Circuit de Catalunya’s contract running until 2011, there will be two Spanish rounds for at least the next four years. Although it’s great to see F1 diversifying the type of track it races on, its disappointing to see the ‘one country, one circuit’ rule being flaunted again when there are so many other nations deserving of one race, let alone two.
But money talks and the Fernando Alonso factor has created a hitherto non-existent passionate F1 following in Spain. His McLaren team held a major pre-season launch in Valencia attended by thousands of fans.