Valencia chief blames Catalunya for end of F1 dream

Alberto Fabra hands the 2012 European GP winner's trophy to Fernando Alonso on the Valencia podium

Alberto Fabra hands the 2012 European GP winner’s trophy to Fernando Alonso on the Valencia podium

Valencia president Alberto Fabra his hit out at his Catalunyan counterpart for reneging on plans to alternate Spain’s two grands prix.

Fabra, president of the Generalitat Valenciana, this week confirmed reports the Spanish port city will no longer host a Formula 1 street race.

He said that the Valencian government has higher priorities than Formula 1.

“I cannot say to an essential supplier ‘I cannot pay you because we have F1′,” Fabra told Valencian regional television.

He confirmed that he had successfully negotiated with Bernie Ecclestone so that Valencia is not liable for the estimated € 54 million in breach of contract penalties.

“The document is being finalised,” said Fabra, “but I can announce that we will not pay any financial penalty.

“What we have agreed is that we will not use any equipment [at] other circuits,” he added.

Fabra said: “In meetings with Ecclestone I explained how difficult it is right now for us to cover the budget, but I left the door open for the future, if we have different economic conditions and with the collaboration of the private sector.”

He also hit out at his Catalan counterpart Artur Mas, who initially agreed to alternate a single annual Spanish Grand Prix with Valencia.

“We had talks with [Catalunya president] Mas, but he changed his criteria. First he agreed, and then he did not,” Fabra is quoted.

“I regret the change of position, as administrations should be loyal to their word and commitments,” he added. (GMM)

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