Roger torrent, Minister of Business and Labor of the Generalitat de Catalunya and former president of the Parlament, will combine this position with that of the head of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, one of the most relevant sports facilities in the community. Appointed at the proposal of the Government itself, the future of the route of Montmeló, which is in the air in many respects.
One of the contracts that expire this year is the one they have signed with the Formula 1. The Circuit, which held last May the 30 years hosting a Grand Prix there, already saved ‘in extremis’ its continuity in the World Cup calendar last year, thanks in part to its proactivity to host the 2020 race in august after the initial cancellation due to the pandemic. In return, negotiating their contract allowed them extend one more year than they had stipulated.
Since then it has been a hot potato. On August 1, the Government appointed María Teixeidor, from FC Barcelona and one of the main promoters of the women’s section. It lasted just a month and was replaced by Ramon Tremosa, which in turn replaces Torrent.
Tremosa had been favorable from the first moment in renewing the Formula 1 contract, but there was a problem with it: the Grand Prix itself. And it is that, unlike what happens in the Motorcycle World Championship, where there is a Catalan GP own whose renewal must also be signed but it seems much more feasible, this appointment has a name that contravenes all the political interests of the party that Torrent represents: Spanish Grand Prix.
Although the independence movement has been very present in the orbit of those responsible for the Circuit, until now it had not been a problem for the FOM and the FIA. In fact, Montmeló It is one of the circuits that drivers and engineers like the most because of its layout, its variety of zones and its location. The problem is that now there are many candidates to stay with his position.
From the Dutch GP, riding the wave of success of Max verstappen, going through more exotic appointments like the Vietnam GP or even the Miami GP, the traditional weekend of the GP of Spain (first or second of May) is in danger of going to another location.
Welcoming Formula 1 is key to economic viability of the Circuit, especially from now on when the public will return to the stands. However, it is ironic that the future of the Spanish GP is in the hands of a declared pro-independence politician.
Despite this, in one of his first speeches as president of the Circuit, Torrent was optimistic and inclined for the Circuit to renew with Liberty Media, the owners of Formula 1. Before the Commission of Company and Work of the Parliament, affirmed that “positive” conversations are taking place. “We hope that it will be resolved positively, but this collaboration must necessarily be linked to a fundamental modernizing approach,” he said. That is to say: either there is structural reform, or there will be no renovation … no subsidy.
‘Els segadors’ and the Royal March: the singularity of the F1 Spanish GP
The F1 organization is no stranger to the political situation in Catalonia, and so far it has acceded to many of its requests. For years there has been a curious circumstance: It is the only circuit in the world to host a Grand Prix featuring two anthems. during the formal presentation ceremony: that of Spain, the Royal March, and that of Catalonia, ‘els Reapers’.
This singularity had not been more relevant until the independence process grew and the international promotion it became a key factor in the strategy of its promoters. The authorities of the Circuit lent their support, as long as it did not harm them in their negotiations with the different entities to remain as the headquarters of different competitions, and from the organization of the race they accepted it without asking much.