Valencia seeking lower F1 race fee

Girls at the Red Bull Pool Party. Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, European Grand Prix, Race, Valencia, Spain, Sunday 26 June 2011.Jan.6 (GMM) The government of Valencia will ask Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone to amend the current contract for the port city’s street European grand prix.

“Major events are no longer possible in the way that we have understood until now,” said the government’s vice president Jose Ciscar in media reports published by EFE and EP news agencies.

He is referring to Spain and Europe’s worsening economic crisis, albeit acknowledging that asking Ecclestone for more favourable terms “could result in a penalty”.

When asked if the penalty might cost Valencia more than simply fulfilling the current contract, Ciscar admitted he has not read the fine print.

But during a press conference, he said Valencia is working hard to cut costs amid rising debt and revealed that a “complete and thorough review” of major events will be conducted.

He said part of that review will include a letter to Ecclestone.

Ciscar agreed that the grand prix has “significant value” to Valencia but he said he nonetheless wants to “sit” with the organisers to “renegotiate”.

El Pais newspaper said Valencia pays 21 million euros per race to Ecclestone’s office.

The current contract runs until 2014.

“There are contracts that are signed and we have become accustomed to fulfilling what we agreed. But at the same time everything is subject to revision and we don’t rule anything out,” Ciscar insisted.