The Valencia Street Circuit,

The Valencia Street Circuit, photo by Julie Gibbons

The Valencian provincial government is yet to pay the fee for the European Grand Prix at the Valencia street circuit to go ahead. The fee is around 20 Million Euros but it is thought the government are considering the best use of that money in tough economic times. As such they are actually yet to pay the fee but of course it isn’t as simple as just not paying the fee if they want to cancel the race when there are contracts.

 

The F1 Administration will be due at least some payment if not the full payment though if the race fee is not paid, plus the race will be cancelled. The government may also have to pay fees for other years left in the contract and therefore may end up spending a lot for no positive economic impact whereas the race would at least bring people to the City and put it in the limelight raising the profile of the city, the area and Spain as a whole.

 

It is believed the race organisers have until the 9th of March to pay and avoid breaching the contract, if not it can be assumed that Bernie Ecclestone will start looking to fill the gap in the calendar in June. Turkey may of course be interested in having their race back and a second German race might be possible: this means Valencia have a lot less strength in negotiations if that is what they are trying to do: play hard ball and renogiate their current contract.

 

At the end of the day however it may be that regardless of whether the Grand Prix is a good investment for the economy or a luxury there are many protesters in Spain saying that both the European and Spanish Grand Prix should be cancelled. Both races are governement funded and the governments of both Catalunya and Valencia are making big cuts. Many in Spain see the race as a expensive luxury so cancelling it no matterw hat the ultimate cost may be popular.