Valencia could host F1 race

Valencia could be the next city to host a Formula One race.

updated: May 11, 2007 13:42 IST
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Valencia could be the next city to host a Formula One race.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is scheduled to hold a news conference on Friday with Francisco Camps, the president of the regional government.

If the city does get the event, it would be the first new race to be added to the 2008 season calendar.

After the America's Cup, Camps wants to keep Valencia in the international spotlight and has promised an urban circuit incorporating the renovated port area.

"It's part of the (Fernando) Alonso-effect. Just like when Michael Schumacher was world champion, they held two races in Germany and now if they can have two circuits in Spain, Ecclestone would like that," Camps' spokeswoman Belen Reyero said recently.

Camps and Ecclestone have met several times since February 2006, with the last private meeting in London on April 4.

With the athletics world indoor championships and sailing's Volvo Ocean Race coming to Valencia in 2008, the regional government wants to bring more world-class events to the city to make use of its new facilities.

More than $676,000 has been poured into redeveloping the port area for the America's Cup, with $2.7 billion overall spent on the city since it won the right to host the sailing event in 2003.

"Now everyone thinks anything can happen here in Valencia. Any event can come here," Reyero said.

It is not clear whether the race would replace the Spanish Grand Prix, held every year in Barcelona. It could also be held separately or on a revolving basis with the Catalunya circuit.

The economic impact of the Spanish GP is $124 million, according to Catalunya circuit figures.