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Catalunya F1 Investment Strategy

Barcelona Bets €50M to Keep F1 Amid Madrid Move

15/03/2024

Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya invests €50M in renovations and strategies to secure its place in Formula 1, challenging Madrid’s emerging project.

The Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona is set to spend no less than 50 million euros to persuade Formula 1 to remain at its circuit.

It has recently been announced that F1 would be moving towards a rival project in Madrid starting from 2026 – the last year of Barcelona’s current contract.

Formula 1 hasn’t ruled out a new agreement with Barcelona, but it would likely be only a yearly deal alternating with another European circuit.

Madrid, however, appears optimistic about becoming the sole Spanish F1 race from 2027.

“The optimism is ours,” insisted Josep Lluis Santamaria, the track director of the Circuit de Catalunya, this week.

For this purpose, there’s the advancement of the ongoing renovation work – with 50 million euros expected to be spent by 2026.

“For the MotoGP, we will have everything finished on the terrace, the pit building, the control tower, and almost the entire roof structure, which will be completed for F1,” he said, referring to the MotoGP race at the end of May and the F1 Spanish GP about a month later.

The innovative “Rooftop” structure (first photo below) overlaps the track on the back straight and represents Barcelona’s bold bet to convince F1 to keep the circuit on the calendar in 2027 and beyond.

“There are countries that host up to three Grands Prix, like the United States,” said Santamaria. “Why can’t we have two in Spain?”

“Stefano Domenicalli has already said it. As in Italy as well. We are working on it and are sure that Formula 1 will stay here for many years.”

“Our contacts with F1 are continuous. Every week, we have meetings. Meetings with the commercial teams, with the promotion team. What we can already showcase this year is the quality of the work we’ve accomplished.”

Santamaria states that some discussions with F1 and its CEO have occurred following the announcement of the Madrid GP.

“The FOM came here. And we had a meeting in London to explain the projects. That was last month.”

“Last week, the F1 engineering team came and they were amazed at the speed with which we are advancing.”

Santamaria claims one of F1’s requests is that the city of Barcelona gets more involved in promoting fringe events around the Grand Prix, like a festival in the city center, to promote the race.

“You will soon have information on what will be done in the city. Last year, there were already activities and there will be this year too.”

“It is true that with the changes in government of the Barcelona municipality, the relations have greatly improved and allow us to organize common events with the city.”

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