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Aguilera: Barcelona needs help to continue hosting F1

Barcelona Aerial view photo

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya needs assistance in order to extend its contract to host the Spanish Grand Prix beyond 2020 and is lobbying not only the country’s businesses but also Liberty Media as they strive to save the race.

Liberty Media agreed an eleventh hour, single-year solution for next year’s race at Circuit de Catalunya, but track boss Vincenc Aguilera says the next deal should be for “three, four or five years”.

“I want to say that we all have the will for F1 to continue in Barcelona,” Aguilera told Spanish journalists at a Christmas function.

But he also said he needs “more partners to join” the project so that the race fee to Liberty Media can be paid.

“To continue, we need help, and this has come from the Generalitat, the city council, the Diputacion de Barcelona, and in the month of June we have to bring it to the level of what we have to do with Liberty Media,” he said.

Aguilera says he is not expecting the negotiations with Liberty to be easy, especially after the talks for the 2020 deal were so fraught.

“We signed on August 23 when the term expired in July,” he revealed. “But I still cannot imagine Barcelona without Formula 1.

“When it comes to a long and complex negotiation like last year, we cannot say that this time it will be easy. But we are in the beginning and we are always very open with Liberty Media.

“If Barcelona loses F1, apart from the impact it would have locally, it is clear that it devalues the circuit from the point of view of the people who come to test here, to race here, to be here.

“It may force us to do several things we do not want to do,” he warned. “If you play in the Champions League you are a reference for the world, but if you don’t, you’re in the Segunda (second) division.”