Barcelona extends contract to 2016


As the furore over the Valencia GP continues, Bernie Ecclestone has revealed an extension to the current Barcelona contract which will see the Catalunya track host the Spanish Grand Prix until 2016.

"I'm obviously very happy obviously that we've reached a conclusion," said Ecclestone at a press conference this morning.

The Englishman admitted that talk of a Valencia GP had worried the authorities at Barcelona.

"At one stage we were a bit concerned that we wouldn't be able to reach an agreement," he said. "I am therefore very happy that we have reached a conclusion and we are on good terms again."

The Englishman will also be delighted at the crowds packed into the circuit today, particularly in view of the fact that until a few years ago the Spanish were dismissive of F1, preferring bikes. Indeed, until Fernando Alonso came on the scene, few F1 races were even broadcast in Spain.

Referring to the row over the Valencia race, Ecclestone reiterated that he has still not signed a deal and is waiting to see the results of the forthcoming election.

"The reason I didn't sign in Valencia was exactly what I've said here," he said. "I know who I'm dealing with and I'm happy with who I'm dealing with so I'm happy to reach an agreement and sign a contract.

"With Valencia, perhaps if the current people are not in power any more I have no idea who I will be dealing with," he continued. "So until I know who that's going to be, I'm not prepared to enter into a contract.

"I didn't know anything about the election until I got there," he continued, "because I'm not political," he continued. "I'm quite sure the current president will probably win the election. But imagine if he didn't, I'd have to deal with someone I've never met and don't know whether they can honour what's been agreed."

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Published: 12/05/2007
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