Barcelona renews GP deal until 2016

Barcelona will continue to host the Spanish Grand Prix until 2016 after renewing its contract, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone announced today

Barcelona renews GP deal until 2016

The Circuit de Catalunya has hosted the event every year since 1991 and its contract was set to run until 2011.

However, with Valencia announcing a seven-year Grand Prix deal just a couple of days ago, Ecclestone moved to confirm that Barcelona will remain host of the Spanish Grand Prix for the next decade - saying the new agreement also ends a period of tension between his company and the event organisers.

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

Ecclestone emphasized the new contract has been signed, although he complimented the Barcelona owners for the track's high standards and said he would have trusted them with a hand-shake.

"To be quite honest with you, I have a good relationship with the people here, so there is no need for a contract," Ecclestone said.

"When we say yes and shake hands, that is good enough for me. That said, we have signed, which I am very happy with.

"What is important is that when anyone wants to build a circuit, they say: 'Where can we go and have a look?' And I always reply, 'go to Barcelona'. I hope that everyone maintains that level."

Unless the Valencia deal falls through, Spain will host two Grands Prix - the Valencia event run under the European Grand Prix banner.

Previously, Italy hosted two Grands Prix, but the Imola event, branded the San Marino Grand Prix, was cancelled this year while the track undergoes renovations.

Germany too held two Grands Prix up until this year, but the two German venues struggled to meet the financial demands of running a Formula One race and will from now on alternative the German Grand Prix between them.

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