Honda F1 website

JUNE 19, 2006

Grands Prix in Spain

The vote over the weekend to give the Catalonia region of Spain autonomy from the Spanish government in Madrid. The new powers include more control over finances, the right to have a say in the appointment of judges but does not include formal recognition as a separate nation. The region will also control its own infrastructure, transport and immigration. Although the new charter is controversial as some believe it will lead to the ultimate break-up of Spain as other regions follow suit, it may have come along at the right moment for the motorsport authorities as there are moves to get a second Grand Prix in Spain - which is not altogether justifiable given the demand elsewhere in the world for F1. With Catalonia now autonomous it is quite possible that the Spanish GP could become the Catalan Grand Prix and the new race being plannned in Valencia could take the title of Spanish GP.

This elegant solution to the problem would not be unlike the situation in motorcycle racing where Jerez de la Frontera hosts the Spanish GP, Barcelona hosts the Grand Prix of Catalunya and Valencia hosts its own Valencia Grand Prix. Dorna, the company which runs the MotoGP series is currently owned by CVC Capital Partners, the firm that controls the Formula One group, but is up for sale because the European Commission insisted that CVC owning both series would create competition problems.