Barcelona unsure if they can afford F1

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7 leads Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB7 at the start of the race. Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday 22 May 2011.

2011 Spanish GP in Barcelona

Jan.10 (GMM) With Valencia already asking for a reduced grand prix race hosting fee, the fate of Spain’s other Formula 1 event has also fallen under a financial dark cloud.

The economics minister of the Catalonia region, Andreu Mas-Colell, told Rac1 radio that the situation for Barcelona’s Spanish grand prix is “the same as in Valencia”.

“In the present conditions we have to look line by line at how we are spending money. We have spent a lot on F1 and at the moment it’s unclear what we can afford,” he said, referring to Europe’s economic crisis.

But the sports newspaper Marca cited sources at the Circuit de Catalunya as saying the F1 and MotoGP races scheduled for 2012 are “guaranteed” at least.

Beyond that, “There are contracts that are more expensive to maintain than to break”, Mas-Colell insisted.