Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has revealed Barcelona and Valencia have agreed in principle to alternate their Grand Prix races so there is only one event in Spain each year from 2013.
The world economic crisis has bitten hard in Spain, where local administrations are under pressure to make deep budget cuts as part of a new central government austerity drive.
“Barcelona and Valencia have agreed that the best thing is to alternate and now we are trying to decide on the dates,” Ecclestone told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.
“It’s simply a way for us to try and help Valencia and if by alternating with Barcelona it helps them, then it’s a good solution.
“Obviously, the year Valencia does not host the event it would not have to pay anything.”
Local media reported Valencia had been the most reluctant to agree the changes and Vicente Aguilera, the president of Barcelona’s Montmelo circuit, said negotiations were ongoing.
“We are negotiating and we have a positive attitude,” he told sports daily Marca.
“In part because Bernie thinks it is a good idea, and also because we have to find something that is sustainable for the country.
“At this moment nothing is agreed. We are negotiating and there has to be a three-way agreement.”
Ecclestone assured that this year’s Spanish Grand Prix on May 13 in Barcelona and Valencia’s European Grand Prix on June 24th would go ahead as scheduled.