Spanish island of Majorca in bid to lure F1 from Valencia

By Gareth Llewellyn
valencia grand prix

(Photo: Alex Comerford)

Formula 1 could move into the Balearic Islands if an audacious bid to lure the European Grand Prix away from Valencia is successful.

The popular holiday island of Majorca is believed to be the location for a new 5.7km race circuit in Llucmajor, with plans already having been seen by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Majorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands which also includes Ibiza, Formentera and Minorca. The circuit site is understood to be close to the island’s major airport in Palma.

After three races at the Herman Tilke-designed Valencia Street Circuit, criticism has been levelled at organisers following very limited overtaking, with one race failing to feature a single on-track change of position.

As the Valencia event’s organisers promise changes to the circuit ahead of its next outing in 2011, those behind the Majorca bid believe they can convince Ecclestone to move the second Spanish race from 2013.

Ecclestone has yet to comment on the bid, but following the race last week said it was “a miracle” that Valencia happened, and was proud they had succeeded so quickly in getting everything ready for the inaugural race in 2008, adding that he considers it a “home” for F1.

Ecclestone’s view has some weight in the sport as its chief executive, but fans and drivers still are not convinced by the circuit.

Llucmajor’s Mayor, Joan Jaume Mulet, is supporting the bid and Spanish architects Mateo Palmer and Biel Arbona have already been commissioned to work on the track. It is welcome news for fans who are becoming increasingly disgruntled with circuits designed by Tilke—known as Tilkedromes—for being boring.

Federico Gastaldi, one of the men who brokered F1’s return to Argentina in the mid-1990s, has been recruited to mediate between the bid team and Ecclestone. However the current agreement to race at the Valencia Street Circuit expires in 2014.


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