During Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix in Montmeló, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, commended the Government’s efforts in renewing the agreement with Formula One in order for the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya continues to host the event until 2019. In this respect, the President affirmed that “along with the automotive industry, the Formula One Grand Prix and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya are strategically important for the country’s future”.
The Head of the Catalan Executive explained that with this new agreement (announced last Friday) between the Circuit, the Montmeló Town Council, the Barcelona City Council and the RACC, the conditions of the contract had been improved in order to face the country’s difficult situation. Furthermore, President Mas highlighted the track’s importance in the Catalan economy, making reference to the “330 million euros in revenue which the Circuit generates every year” while creating “many jobs” and “substantially contributing to our country’s wealth”.
In this regard, Artur Mas applauded the decisive role played by the Barcelona City Council in maintaining the Grand Prix in Montmeló, “especially considering the difficult situation that has brought about the expiry of many public events”. According to Mas, the Barcelona City Council and Mayor Trias have been "absolutely decisive in maintaining the Grand Prix", as they have a “clear understanding of the strategic importance the event has for Catalonia and for Barcelona” added the President. Additionally, Artur Mas communicated that it was for this reason that the Circuit was recently re-named after the Catalan capital as it now incorporates 'Barcelona' in its official name.
“All the institutions have come together” in making this Grand Prix possible, assured the Catalan president as he attributed part of its success to the “difficult decisions” made by Government and the relevant institutions implicated in bringing the Formula One race to Barcelona . Among these decisions, the President highlighted the proposal and introduction of the Tourist Tax on overnight stays in Catalonia’s touristic establishments as a means of keeping events like the one mentioned operational within the Catalan territory.
When asked whether a possible change in the Barcelona City Council during the upcoming elections might also bring about a change regarding the event’s support, President Mas remained convinced that the necessary “deliberation would be carried out” in order for events like the Formula One Grand Prix and the Mobile World Congress remain in Catalonia.
Convinced that bringing the event to Barcelona was the “correct decision”, the Head of the Catalan Government also used the occasion to emphasize how Barcelona’s twenty-five years of hosting the Grand Prix “has proven Catalonia’s commitment to the automotive domain and, more specifically, to Formula One”.
Moreover, the President emphasized that Catalonia has proven itself to be an “authentic automotive hub”, not only because it hosts the F1 Spanish Grand Prix, but because it also hosts a vast array of world renowned automotive events such as the World Rally Championships, the Moto GP and the Barcelona International Motor Show. Furthermore, Catalonia is the home of many important research centers that form the core of Europe’s car industry, including IDIADA and a wide range of development centers, universities and professional formation centers which tie directly into the automotive sector.