Barcelona keeping its cards close to its chest with Liberty Media

© XPB 

The Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona is preparing for contract talks with Liberty Media, and the venue is hoping to remain the home of the Spanish Grand Prix beyond 2019.

At a time when the future of several historical European races - Silverstone, Hockenheim and Monza - remains uncertain, Barcelona's management joins the chorus of tracks seeking better financial conditions with Formula One.

However, the venue's negotiating power could be limited given that Liberty Media has "alternatives" to Barcelona.

"We have to know how to play the cards we have," said Circuit de Catalunya boss Vicenc Aguilera.

"When we face a contract renewal, we must look at our ability to generate revenue, what we pay for the contract, the conditions under which we manage the grand prix -- there are many variables and we will see how it progresses."

Like other circuits, Barcelona relies on subsidies to make ends meet with F1's demands. But according to Spain's El Mundo Deportivo, the local government's financial aid is set to be cut from 2.5M euros to 1.5M euros.

"The health of the circuit is clearly good in its structure," said Aguilera, "but financially it is mediocre.

"We are not able to generate resources and cope with losses due to the current harsh conditions. We need extra contributions.

"We have had an agreement that has lasted three years and now we have to consider what to do for 2020. In 2019 there are elections right after the grand prix and we will see what happens."

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Renault Sport F1 Team RS18

Formula 1 will visit Barcelona twice next year, for the Grand Prix scheduled at mid-May, and two and a half months earlier for pre-season testing which will take place February 18-21 and February 26-March 1.

Despite the adverse weather that wreaked havoc on this year's pre-season testing at Barcelona, fellow track boss Joan Fontsere convinced F1 teams to return to Catalunya this winter.

"It was the hardest negotiation that I have faced to date," he said.

"This year's snowfall did not help because the teams want to test in optimal conditions, but the commitment to improvement and those who appreciate the circuit in technical terms meant they decided to stay."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter