Formula 1, the prestigious motor racing series, has renewed its contract with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to hold the Spanish Grand Prix there until 2026.
As part of the new agreement, improvements to the venue’s track, facilities and sustainability efforts will be made before next season’s race, which is scheduled for 22 May 2022.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was granted two one-year extensions with F1 for 2020 and 2021, with its long-term contract having come to an end after the 2019 race.
The circuit had struggled financially and there were question marks at the time about whether there would be space for it on the F1 calendar.
However, Chase Carey, then-president and chief executive of F1 owner Liberty Group, had said in May 2018: “We want to be in Barcelona for the long term” and additional assurances were said to have been given in 2020.
The city has hosted the Spanish Grand Prix every year since 1991 and is also the regular venue for Formula 1 pre-season testing.
Roger Torrent, Catalan minister of business and labour and president of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, said: “We welcome the renewal of this contract, which includes a mutual commitment clause to help us turn Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya into a model and world benchmark of sustainability applied to this type of facility.
"We want the circuit to become an exponent of the green transformation and the adaptation of infrastructures to the demands of the climate emergency.”
This season’s Spanish Grand Prix on 9 May was won by Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, who, with two races left (in Saudi Arabia on 5 December and Abu Dhabi on 12 December), sits second in the driver standings behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
In addition to the F1 deal, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has renewed its deal with motorcycling’s FIM MotoGP World Championship also until 2026.
The deal, agreed with the series' promoter Dorna Sports, means the circuit will host MotoGP in 2022 and at least twice more in the subsequent four years, alternating with other venues on the Iberian peninsula.
The 2022 event is provisionally lined up for 3 to 5 June.
Of the MotoGP deal, Torrent said: "We are very pleased to continue hosting the most important competition in the world of motorcycling. This is great news for the fans of our country, for the international projection of Barcelona and Catalonia, and for the objective of turning the circuit into a strategic piece for the economic and social development linked to the green mobility industry."
Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive of Dorna Sports, added: "This contract renewal with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for five more seasons is, without a doubt, fantastic news for MotoGP.
"The spectacular Catalan track has been linked to MotoGP since the first beginnings of Dorna and has been a key fixture on the calendar each season. This important agreement extending the collaboration until 2026 demonstrates, once again, the commitment shown to our championship by the promoter."