Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Valencia, 2011

Valencia and Barcelona to share Spanish Grand Prix from 2013

2013 F1 calendarPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Valencia, 2011
F1 will see less of Valencia from 2013

Spain will play host to one round of the world championship instead of two from next year, Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed.

The Circuit de Catalunya and Valencia street circuit will alternate as hosts of the Spanish Grand Prix.

A race has been held at the Barcelona circuit every year since 1991. Valencia first appeared on the F1 calendar in 2008 as the home of the European Grand Prix.

Ecclestone told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser the organisers of both races had agreed to share the Grand Prix from 2013.

The races at both the circuit is this year will continue as planned.

Ecclestone also indicated he hopes to extend the contract for the race in Valencia beyond 2014.

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91 comments on “Valencia and Barcelona to share Spanish Grand Prix from 2013”

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  1. So that makes room for New Jersey then…

    Whats going to happen to the Korean and Malaysian races? I say Malaysian because I suspect Singapore’s presence on the calendar, and the allure as a night race it brings may put Malaysia’s place in question in Bernie’s head.

    1. Both Korea and Malaysia are still under contract. In fact, Singapore’s contract is up for renewal before Malaysia’s is – Singapore needs a new contract for 2013, but I don’t think Malaysia will start negotiating with Bernie until about 2014 or 2015.

      1. I’d guess we should see Korea in the same light as Valencia here though.
        Yes they have a contract, but so does Valencia. Both have been reluctant to pay, or have been down on payments and have talked about renegotiating their GP deals.

        1. Korea shut up pretty quickly when Bernie said he wasn’t willing to negotiate with them – he said it was difficult enough to come to terms with them the first time, and he was in no mood to repeat the experience. Especially since the guy claiming that the race is too expensive is the guy who pushed for the race to be held in the first place. I guess the world looks very differently once you stop being the guy asking for hand-outs and start being the guy giving them.

          1. Valencia shut up about it soon as well. Only for rumours of just this deal now announced to come up.

            Who knows what will happen in Korea, Bernie can be counted on to take that chance to get someone who will be a more secure payment in if he sees a chance.

          2. He wants twenty races in the season, and with Korea being in the middle of a fly-away leg, his choices for a replacement event are few if any. I think it’s more likely that he’ll put up with their nonsense for 2012, while working on finding a replacement event for 2013. Taking two years is better than limiting yourself to just one.

      2. Valencia had a contract to 2014, so anything can change.

    2. Wasn’t Malaysia supposed to be one of the few races where there was massive public support by way of having the cheapest tickets for a F1 race on the entire calendar ? I doubt Bernie would want to alternate between Singapore or Korea and Malaysia.

      1. I dont this Bernie would ever drop Singapore, nor should he, its a unqie race and entirely deservong of its place. What im saying is, how much longer can the Malaysian government carry on subsidising the race. Bernie will jack up the fees, and at some point it will tell.

        How many more races on the calendar can continue to be government subsidized? The newest race in India isnt. The US races wont have a ‘come rain or shine’ subsidy. Most of the european ones dont. And before you say the public ones will win out because they can afford to pay the fees, what happens when they all pull out?

        1. Why is the Malaysian government in trouble? Maybe they are fine paying.
          Anyway Australia seems to have a lot more problems in paying than Malasya has. Unfortunately for me since i love that track, Melbourne might be he one to go in two years time.

          1. Melbourne doesn’t have any problems paying. The race is expensive, so a lot of starry-eyed would-be public servants like to raise the issue every year, promising that they will be the ones to get a better deal for the city out of Bernie.

  2. Woohoo!!

    1. ^^ this ;)

      1. There is a God ;)

  3. Valencia and Barcelona are 2 most boring tracks in current F1 circus. The best option would be to scrap both, but still this is definitely an improvement!

    1. At least we have one less race to doze off in between. But Bernie looks like he just does not want Valencia to get out of his hands.

    2. No. The best option would be to have both the Valencian (European) and Spanish Grand Prix’ at Spa. One year 2 times Spa and the other 1 time, as Spa alternates with France…

      1. Even better if we’d have 5 GP’s at Spa, 5 at Melbourne, 5 at Montreal and 5 at Suzuka. Oh, and maybe one race in Monza. :D

        1. No room for Monaco? Or Silverstone? Or Interlagos? Or COTA?

  4. Great news! I suggest have a triple sharing with Jerez, Barcelona and Valencia – each track keeps getting used and we get more variety on the calendar.

  5. Valencia has produced the worst ever races and it doesn’t even come close to Barcelona. Why not keep Barcelona annual and replace the European GP with one in France. Magny Cours anyone?

    1. Why not?

      For the same reasons why Spa is looking at alternating with somewhere in France: because they cannot keep up with an annual race. It’s all well and good to say “drop Valencia, introduce Magny-Cours and keep Barcelona (and Spa)”, but Barcelona cannot have a yearly race and Magny-Cours cannot have a yearly race (and Spa cannot have a yearly race).

      Why do people have such a hard time grasping this concept? Fan support for certain events might sound nice, but it’s also completely intangible and of little use to the circuits when it comes time to negotiate with Bernie.

      1. No, I accept your point entirely – the reason they cannot hold an annual event is down to the costs and I hope that with the advent of the Concorde discussions this year that this can be looked at.

        Perhaps the best thing for F1 and the circuits would be if CVC sold F1 entirely then we wouldn’t have (mostly) historic race venues lining the debt pockets of a private equity firm (which is what Bernie facilitates after all)…

        Its all very well that TV money pays the debts of the Sport, that’s business – but some of these circuits are (should) be as protected as a Museum or Listed Building. Imagine English Heritage lining the pockets of concert organisers to hold gigs and tours at their venues…

        1. Nobody complained about the cost of holding a Grand Prix until we encountered the recession (I refuse to use the term “Global Financial Crisis” except to say that I refuse to use it) and a lot of governments started re-prioritising their expenses. Most of the danger is over for now, but once the economy is fully stabilised – and particularly when the PIIGS are no longer the PIIGS – then I expect things will return to normal and there will be less need for split races.

          1. Richard F150 - I am not a truck
            9th March 2012, 15:14

            ‘(I refuse to use the term “Global Financial Crisis” except to say that I refuse to use it)’

            Nice! – I like the attention to detail there.

            The asking price to host a race with either need to drop or more races will move to countries which either don’t need to justifiy the cost or have a valid business case.

          2. Sorry for being off-topic, but… Now we have post-financialfinancial speculation crisis recession. And don’t be so sure about stabilization as there might be another crisis coming – an offspring of rising speculation on food and oil markets.

      2. Why?

        For the same reason that people request many other things that don’t happen for “financial” reasons. It’s all well and good to say that it can’t happen, but you are ignoring that it’s what people want.

        Why do @prisoner-monkeys have such a hard time grasping this concept? “Financial” reasons might sound nice as an explanation, but with a sport so wealthy many people have a hard time grasping why things can’t be done for the good of the sport, as opposed to things being dictated by law of greed.

        1. I think people grasp the concept of some tracks no being financially viable. But if there is such popular demand for certain tracks then they should reduce the fee they charge to host the GP to make it financially viable

        2. Richard F150 - I am not a truck
          9th March 2012, 15:26

          Replace the term “sport” with “business” and most things become clear.

          I may be wrong but I thought F1 with CVC was in a lot of debt not wealthy.

          Teams are accepting pay drivers, why not accept pay circuits.

          I like it neither but I accept that the needs of the rich and powerful is greater than the needs of the sport.

        3. I reject the notion that the sport should just do whatever the fans want and everything will be rosy. We’ve seen good circuits hold bad races and bad circuits hold good races often enough for me to believe that there is no secret to the perfect circuit design – it all comes down to the cars. I think Formula 1 should concentrate on cutting its costs so that more teams can be more competitive, and they can afford to take the most talented drivers rather than the drivers with the most money. I know I’d much prefer to watch exciting racing on boring circuits than boring racing on exciting circuits.

          1. I’m not saying it should, I’m saying that people tend to want to see F1 race on the tracks they like. Most people seem to detest Valencia.

            I don’t think you can hold that against them.

            Also, boring tracks make for boring racing. Spa vs Bahrain. Melbourne vs Valencia….

            The notion is easy to grasp.

      3. On the contrary, Some fan support for a race doesnt guarantee a place on the F1 calendar, but that doesnt explain the massive contradictory examples like Monaco and Monza.

        Theyre only on the calendar because they get cheap fees (in Monacos case, none). They get cheap fees because the teams want to race there. The teams want to race there because the sponsors want to be there. The sponsors want to be there because if they arent, then their sponsorship or investment is devalued signifcantly. Thats only because they ellicit the overwhelming and unequivocal response form the fans that if they dont race there, then the sport is no longer Formula 1. Then if the sport is not seen as an elite motorsport with direct links to its hisory, then its no longer the same sport – its just a niche passtime (see the self-cannibalism of IndyCar).

        And if its no longer F1, why would the sponsors stay?

        1. Absolutely right Banburyhammer, I am amazed at Bernies ability to get track-owners to pay him so that he can stage a race and sell all the TV and advertising rights. Next time you and your mates want to have a track day see if you can get the track owner to pay you to use his facility, I don’t think so. One day the track owners will get together and the whole house of cards will come tumbling down.

    2. John Edwards
      9th March 2012, 22:25

      Magny Cours can just crawl away and die!

      that said it was a lot better than valencia!

  6. I don’t care for Valencia at all. I’d rather they dropped that entirely. Catalunya’s not great for racing but it has some good corners (those that are left, anyway) and has been on the calendar for 20-odd years.

    I’m not that keen on having two races in one country either. Of course America will do from next year, but it’s a huge country with a much larger population, so if anywhere’s going to have two races it makes sense for it to be there.

    1. I don’t care for Valencia at all. I’d rather they dropped that entirely.

      Take a win when you can get one, Keith.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys I will if I do :-)

    2. This would leave the Grand Prix of Europe up for grabs, perhaps a chance for the Red Bull Ring?

      1. Dietrich Mateschitz has repeatedly said that the Red Bull Ring will not host a Grand Prix.

        And if the European Grand Prix is to be dropped entirely, New Jersey will automatically take its place. As it stands, there are twenty-one races set for 2013: the twenty on the current calendar, plus the Grand Prix of America. If once race goes, America will simply takes its place and the calendar will be stable at twenty races. The only way this will change is if the teams agree to hold more races under the terms of the new Concorde Agreement to be negotiated this year. And they probably won’t agree to that.

      2. Why would the Red Bull Ring be anything other than the Austrian GP?

      3. Damn, for a moment I thought you said the BIRMINGHAM Bull Ring!

  7. Shame Valencia couldnt have gone one better and buggered off permanently. There’s only been one good thing about that track, and that was Barrichello’s emotional victory in 2009. Everything else, I cant really remember as it bored most people to sleep!

    1. I think this is the begining of a Long Goodbye to Valencia.

    2. You forgot that Valencia has trackside berths for Bernies mates to dock their yachts at, just like Monaco only not quite so chic.

  8. I like the surroundings of Valencia Street Circuit. If the circuit itself was modified so that the racing wasn’t as dull then I would prefer to have the Spanish GP there every year. Anyway, I believe that Spain doesn’t deserve two races per year so well done, Bernie.

    1. If the circuit itself was modified so that the racing wasn’t as dull then I would prefer to have the Spanish GP there every year.

      I’ve said it before, and doubtless I’ll say it again – I’m convinced that there is a good circuit in Valencia, and with a few modifications, it could actually become a very popular event. The first few corners should be removed, so that the cars can go flat out from the start line to the bridge. And the three hairpins at the bottom of the circuit should be refined into a single bend. That’s it. That’s all that needs to be done.

      1. And you were criticizing others for wishing for the impassible! :D

        1. “Impassible” freudian slip ?

      2. How dare you apply logic to F1!

        1. I didn’t. I just bashed myself over the head with a hammer a few times. One trip to the emergency room and $30,000 in unpaid medical expenses later, I figured I was in the perfect state of mind to make decisions about the future of Formula 1.

    2. @girts Well remember that Valencia got into the calendar when Alionso was on the top and Bernie’s favorite (at least favorite in business terms), now the whole view has changed, RB are with the new king and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Red Bull Ring comes back as European Grand Prix. Yeah Matestichz may have said it wouldn’t happen but let money talk and he would shake hands.

      1. There are countries and circuits outside of Europe who have more money and are willing to throw it in Bernie’s direction. I wouldnt expect to see the A1 Ring on the callender unless it was at the expense of a current European race.

  9. I always dream of a GP at Potrero de los Funes Circuit, Argentina. It is perhaps the most beautiful anywhere in the world…if we’re considering replacements :-)

    1. Keep dreaming – it’s not going to happen. The circuit would need major work before it could host a race (there is virtually no paddock or grandstands), and even then, there isn’t an airport that could handle the arrival of Formula 1 for about 750km.

      I’ve also got the sneaking suspicion that if ever Formula 1 went to that circuit, it would actually produce very boring racing.

  10. I’m not really a fan of alternating races.

  11. Just drop Valencia. One thing I’d like to see is the Tilke desert tracks all being rotated on something like a 10 year cycle.

    1. John Edwards
      10th March 2012, 10:03

      Agreed. They are rubbish and pointless.

  12. Hopefully the year off gives Barcelona some time to demolish the 2007 chicane, the circuit would be so much better without it.

    Anyway, this is probably the best outcome, although I’d have preferred to see Barcelona every year and Valencia dropped completely.

    1. No chance. The chicane is there for “safety reasons”. It won’t be removed.

    2. John Edwards
      9th March 2012, 22:30

      The whole lot needs redesigning, the end of the lap is just awful now.

      The track is fundamentally flawed even if it is in a great location and nice for spectating, it’s one of the worst F1 visits.

  13. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Have a European GP contract open to a different track every year, and that way we can go to more tracks and even 1-off city races. And the European GP will actually be a useful idea, and not just be an excuse to have 2 GPs in one country for a few years.

    But it looks like they’ve scrapped the title anyway, so we’ll probabaly never have that idea in plan.

    1. It makes absolutely no sense to set up the infrastructure to host an F1 event if its only going to be used once or possibly twice. Having said that, if it were to work it would have to be street circuits. Still sounds like a lot of work for the FIA to be honest.

  14. Fantastic news.

    The only way it could have been better was if they dropped both

  15. Awesome sauce! What happens to the European Grand Prix?

    1. @smifaye Indeed!

      I’m going to cross my fingers that they bring Turkey back, but it won’t happen :(

      1. European GP? I think not as the track is on the wrong side of the Bosporus and actually in Asia :)

    2. What happens to the European Grand Prix?

      @smifaye – well, the title will probably be redundant until Bernie gets his wish of removing pretty much every race in europe. Then, whichever one is left, will get the title and 500 million people will have to fight amongst themselves for 150,000 tickets. Fun times!

    3. The European Grand Prix will be discontinued.

  16. Let’s drop all the Tilkedromes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (I’m just dreaming aloud)
    Lets face the truth and few new tracks can be dropped, I now we are in a global economy but the old European circuits (and Susuka) are the best. That reminds me… how could the Hungaroring be improved to be a match for its other European sisters?

    1. @omar-pepper I never really understand that argument. Yes, the sport needs history, that’s undeniable. But for such a forward looking, technology driven sport, surely it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that teams are looking to exploit new markets and companies want to develop new circuits?

      No business ever made any money standing still. Europe cannot sustain a world championship. It would be a total farce and an embarrassment to the sport and all its associates.

  17. It looks like two circuits sharing one Grand Prix might become common in F1. I wonder if that’s a good thing? Drivers & teams probably don’t care. As long as one of both circuits is not a failure, fans shouldn’t object as more diversity makes the whole circus more entertaining. But what about the circuits themselves? If a lot of other popular events take place at the circuit, then I guess its owners might prefer alternating as they rarely make profit from staging F1 races and one race per two years lets them reduce their loss, while still keeping the place popular.

    1. I was wondering this myself. Certainly would shake things up every year by going to different tracks each season. I do think that certain marquee races would stay though, Monaco for example.

  18. Good news I guess, opens up the calendar to other countries, which is pretty important for a world championship!

    I prefer Valencia personally. That third sector is so damn fast!

    Ultimately if this helps to secure the future of a Spanish GP then I’m all for it.

  19. I’m pleased that, of the poorer races, we’re going to be losing one each season but, I’m also pleased that the Spanish grand prix is going to remain on the calendar. Given the fever they have over there at the moment with Alonso, it would have been a pretty big disaster to have lost the fixture from the calendar completely.

    Since France and Belgium are looking to alternate from next year, I’d suggest that the “European Grand Prix” title is passed to them, seeing as they’re in two different countries. In my mind, if it made business sense, the EuropeanGrand Prix would have alternated amongst a few different circuits in different countries. But, realistically, no circuit would sign up for one race every 5 years or so.

    1. It’s a nice idea, but I don’t think it will stick. The French – in what I can only assume was an entirely unreasonable fit of being French – want a French Grand Prix. Not a European Grand Prix; they want France to have a presence on the calendar as France.

      1. Ironic isn’t it, a “Grand Prix” not a “Big Prize” in almost every country but the one that first created one.

        1. John Edwards
          10th March 2012, 10:09

          France failed to develop their venues.

          Magny cours was a trillion miles from anywhere and a rubbish venue where the whole lap was single file so no racing, with the exception of 99&2000 I cannot remember any races there that were any good, although its a better strike rate than Barcelona which has not had a good race in 21years!!!

          France should have a race, but the fact they don’t is there own fault.

  20. I was going to say this was the best news an F1 fanatic could possibly read, but then I remembered – they’re still on the calendar. :P

    1. Maybe not – Barcelona and Valencia are set to alternate from 2013. But there’s no word on who will actually go first. 2013 could very well see the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona, not Valencia.

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