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Spain Seeking to Host Summer Grand Prix to Boost 2020 F1 Calendar

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya still have eyes on a date on the 2020 Formula 1 calendar, with Joan Fonsere, the circuit’s General Manager, saying talks are still ongoing with the FIA about hosting a race during the summer.

The track hosted pre-season testing back in February just prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus, with the pandemic causing the Spanish Grand Prix to be cancelled from its original May date.  At this time, it is one of ten events that have either been postponed or cancelled due to the virus.

Fonsere says the track is willing to do anything they can to aid Formula 1, with open talks with F1 boss Chase Carey about hosting a race on what is set to be a reduced schedule in 2020.

“Since the beginning what we offered to Chase is that we want to be on the same page,” said Fonsere to Autosport.  “Obviously if they think we can help the sport of F1 to have a stronger and better world championship in the future, we will be there.

“That’s the way we’ve acted from the beginning to today.  We offered them the possibility of Barcelona organising an event, as we have 30 years of experience, and we are very well located in terms of logistics.

“We are in close contact now with F1 and having conversations about a new date in the season.  As Chase says, they are starting the season in Europe in July/August, and we will be there, around those dates, for sure.”

Spain open to Summer Race to boost F1 Calendar

Traditionally, the Spanish Grand Prix has been held in early May, with recent seasons seeing the track hosting the first European race of the year. 

However, with Austria set to host the season opener in July, the Spanish venue is open to hosting a summer race, something it has never done since it joined the Formula 1 calendar in 1991 after taking over hosting duties from the Circuito de Jerez.

“They asked us if there is any date which is not possible for us, and we said ‘no’,” said Fonsere.  “We want to run the event, and we can manage and organise everything to help F1.

“In a regular year, August in Spain everyone is on holiday, but I think 2020 will be an exceptional year, with a completely different calendar.  If you talked to me one year ago I would have said, ‘Please, not August!’

“But now it’s OK, also because the reduced format of event would be a good starting point not just for the track facility, but also for the hotels surrounding the area – not starting in a full throttle way.

“We can run an event like that with no spectators in two or three weeks.  We can manage that easily, because we have 320 days per year of activity at the track, so our machine is ready when the lights go out.

“Obviously with no attendance it will be much easier because there is no marketing campaign, no spectator control, etc.”

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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