MAY 18, 2006
A Mediterranean Grand Prix?
With teams baulking at doing more races and circuits complaining about increasing race fees, the Formula One group is rumoured to be looking at deals that would allow circuits to host races on a less regular rotational basis. The stories suggest that Valencia, Paul Ricard and perhaps Greece might end up sharing a race called the Mediterranean Grand Prix. This is a cute idea for the Formula One group but makes very little sense for any promoter. If one has to invest a large sum of money to build an F1-standard facility it makes no sense at all to sign up to an arrangement would make it even more difficult to pay off. The effectiveness of an intermittent Grand Prix is also questionable as F1 tends to work best when promoting a region by returning time and time again and thus building up an association with F1 that would translate into a glamorous image.
The idea that there will be such a race at Paul Ricard without spectators other than VIPs is also illogical as somebody has to pay for the race to take place. The teams are not going to go racing to a venue which does not pay them and the Formula One group is not going to pay out with nothing coming in.
If Valencia and Greece want places on the F1 calendar they will have to pay enough money to get them.
One other point to consider is that the Enna Pergusa circuit in Sicily has been hosting Mediterranean Grands Prix since the 1960s and might not take kindly to someone coming along and "borrowing" the name.
One never wants to upset the Sicilians.
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