Barcelona Circuit de Catalunya set the record straight with regard to last Sunday’s pre-race protocol which was criticized by the president of the Royal Spanish Automobile Federation.

President Manuel Aviñó Roger accused the Spanish Grand Prix race promoters of delivering a political message when they played the Catalan anthem before the start of the event, with Aviñó claiming the decision was an “alteration of protocol”.

The Circuit de Catalunya rebuffed the accusation however, and brought to the attention of the oblivious Aviñó the fact that both Catalan and Spain’s anthems have been performed at every single Spanish Grand Prix that has taken place at Barcelona!

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“Ever since 1991, the year in which the first Spanish Grand Prix was staged at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, both anthems have been played on the grid 14 minutes before the start of the race,” it said.

“The procedure to play these anthems has always been the same: first the Spanish anthem, and then the Catalan anthem.

“During this opening ceremony, and ever since the first edition of the event, both flags are shown: the Spanish flag and the Catalan flag.

“In fact, a new format for the ceremony was introduced in 2015, on the request of Formula 1, with the attendance of authorities and the drivers at the head of the grid, in front of the flags, to provide it with more solemnity.”

The Circuit de Catalunya also reminded Mr. Aviñó that he was actually present on the grid last year.

“Last year Mr Aviñó attended the ceremony for the first time, as President of the Royal Spanish Motorsport Federation, and during the ceremony, both anthems were played and both flags were shown.

“Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya wants to express and state that it has always shown the utmost respect towards the Spanish and Catalan symbols,” it added.

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