The organisers of the Valencia race should be relieved that from next year they will alternate with the Circuit De Catalunya near Barcelona, this means that they won’t have to compete for fans which has been proving difficult.
With only 40,000 seats sold for this years European Grand Prix though the new head of the Valenica street circuit, Gonzalo Gobert, wants to look at further cost cutting measures to try and turn a profit when the circuit hosts the 2014 Spanish Grand Prix and then each even year after that.
The economic problems in Spain have hit the race from at least three different angles, sponsors are paying less, the Valencian Government has less money to spend on meeting the race’s shortfall and Spanish fans are staying away, unsurprising with unemployment at around 24-25%.
Circuit head Gonzalo Gobert believes that the success of Fernando Alonso in the championship is vital saying:
“It is essential for ticket sales It is a phenomenon and really helping us a lot with ticket sales. The man has helped us a lot but 65% of ticket sales are from outside the country.”
With Fernando Alonso having lead the championshiop prior to Canada it seems that Spanish fans may simply not have the money for luxuries like attending the European Grand Prix; Gobert will presumably hope for a pole for Alonso in qualifying though that could bring in late sales for race day tickets.
Then again one problem Gobert hasn’t mentioned is the fact the Valencia street circuit has failed to deliver exciting races since the inaugural race in 2008, with the possible exception of 2010; recently in an F1 Racing Global Fan Community pole of fan’s favorite circuits the Valencia circuit got only 0.4% of the vote.