Valencia Gov't Attempting To Break F1 Contract, Void $44M Demanded By Ecclestone
Valencia, Spain's relationship with F1 "is on the verge of ending," according to Laura López Albiac of SPORT. It will "probably not be a 'friendly' divorce.'" F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has stated his demands and wants the Valencian government to pay the €33M ($44M) demanded by a rescission clause in the contract between Valencia and F1. Valencia Region President Alberto Fabra "decided to correct the absurdities of a Grand Prix that he inherited from former Valencia President Francisco Camps, one that has cost a fortune in public funds." Fabra is "in conversations with Ecclestone to ease the penalty for liquidating the contract as much as possible." The Valencian government "has definitively disowned its Grand Prix." Because of "the economic crisis the Valencian government is facing, it has had to make significant cuts, forcing Fabra to consider it impossible to continue contributing money to a race that has never been profitable but has instead been the opposite." Besides the difficulty of spending the €40M ($53M) it costs to "hold each edition of the race, the government does not want to give off an image of glamor and extravagance at a time like the current economic situation." Valencia treasurer Juan Carlos Moragues recently "announced a new increase in taxes and assured that the priority is to 'meet our obligations without having to close schools and hospitals'" (SPORT, 8/11).