Barcelona marks 25th year of Spanish GP with contract extension

Spain has become the second Formula One host to extend its race contract this season, with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya confirmed as the venue for the Spanish Grand Prix until 2019.

The deal for the Spanish GP, at the circuit outside the city of Barcelona, was due to expire after next year’s race, but a new three-year deal was announced ahead of Sunday’s event, which was won by Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which constitutes the Generalitat de Catalunya, Spanish automobile body the RACC and the City Council of Montmeló, along with the City Council of Barcelona, reached the agreement with Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone. The Spanish GP has been staged at the venue since moving from Jerez in 1991 and is also a regular destination for Formula One testing events.

Vicenç Aguilera, president of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, said: “We are extremely proud to announce this renewal in such a special year, marking the 25th anniversary of Formula One Grand Prix being hosted uninterruptedly at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. We therefore extend this fruitful relationship with Formula One and we look forward to the next 25 years.”

In March, Malaysia retained its place on the F1 motor racing calendar through to 2018 after the Sepang International Circuit agreed a three-year extension to its race contract.

In other news, Hockenheim managing director Georg Seiler has said he is “1,000 per cent” certain the German GP will return to the venue in 2016, with the country missing an F1 race this season for the first time since 1960.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) in March confirmed the removal of the German Grand Prix from the 2015 calendar amid claims from the motor-racing series’ reigning world champions, Mercedes, that they tried to retain the race.

The German GP has been operating on a rotation policy between Hockenheim and the Nuerburgring, the latter of which was due to stage this year’s race. However, the Nuerburgring’s ongoing financial issues removed it from the equation for 2015.

The German GP is due to return to Hockenheim in 2016 and Seiler told German news agency SID that tickets have been on sale for three weeks. “It's 100 per cent sure, even 1,000 per cent sure,” he said. “We have a contract for next year and we have always respected our contract.”

At this year’s Malaysian GP, Ecclestone had refused to confirm whether the 2016 German GP would take place, but Seiler insisted there is no doubt. “I have a good relationship with Bernie Ecclestone,” he added.