Formula One has confirmed that the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona will remain on its calendar for the 2020 season after series owners Liberty Media agreed terms with the Catalonian government and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The future of the race had been in doubt amid financial concerns, though reports earlier in July claimed that the regional government had guaranteed a commitment of €21 million (US$23.3 million) to keep the event alive.
In the past, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has relied on public money to cover the costs of the race and has struggled for profitability since 2008, according to the regional news outlet Ara.
Speaking to Palco23 in March, the race track’s general manager Joan Fontserè told the Spanish business outlet that revenues are set to rise 19 per cent, up to €29.29 million (US$32.6 million) in 2019.
The agreement, which was also ratified by the Real Automovil Club de Catalunya (RACC) and the Montmeló Town Council, will see the Spanish Grand Prix enter its 50th season on the Formula One race calendar. Its first event was held in 1951 at Barcelona’s Pedralbes street circuit.
The race was also run at another street track in the Catalan capital, in Montjuich, which alternated hosting the race with the Jarama circuit near Madrid. From 1986 to 1990, the race moved to Jerez de la Frontera, before making the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit its home in 1991. Next season will mark the 30th consecutive year the event has been staged at its current home.
“We are pleased to confirm that the Spanish Grand Prix will be on the calendar of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship,” said Formula One chairman and chief executive Chase Carey.
“The decision to continue to stage a round of the pinnacle of motor sport in Spain, a country with a great motor racing tradition, dating back to the start of the last century, is part of our strategy of maintaining Formula One’s European roots, while also currently expanding the championship into new territories.
“The promoter’s willingness to be part of Formula One going into 2020 is proof of the sport’s ability to act as a catalyst for regions to hold world class events and also to have a positive impact on the area’s economy.”