F1 Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya
The Spanish Grand Prix has been held annually at the Circuit de Catalunya, just north of Barcelona, since 1991 and is one of the undoubted highlights of the Motor Racing calendar. A lightning fast circuit with 3 superb, sweeping, quick curves and 2 long straights, there have been some memorable moments since Nigel Mansell won the first Grand Prix here in his Williams-Renault.
Spanish race-goers, of course, will have especially fond memories of 2006 when Fernando Alonso became the first Spaniard to win his home Grand Prix. Equally memorable, but for different reasons, was the terrifying moment when Heikki Kovalainen’s car left the track at an astounding 240 kph before careering into a tyre wall in the 2008 race. The ultimate tribute to the safety of modern F1 cars could be illustrated by the way in which the Finnish driver was only in hospital for two days and took part in the next Grand Prix just two weeks later. Other notable achievements here have been a hat-trick of victories for Mika Häkkinen and McLaren-Mercedes from 1998 and then four in a row for Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari straight afterwards. The only other British winner since Nigel Mansell was Damon Hill in a Williams-Renault as far back as 1994.
The 19th Spanish Grand Prix to be held at the Circuit de Catalunya will be on Sunday, 10th May, with the practice and qualifying sessions on the preceding Friday and Saturday. Spectators holding a three day ticket will have access to the Pit Lanes on Thursday, 7th May from 10.00 until 12.30 and then again from 4.00 until 7.00 in the afternoon.
Formula 1 historians might remember that Barcelona was the host of the Spanish Grand Prix on four occasions between 1969 and 1975, before it moved to Jerez de la Frontera in Andalucía. This previous ‘incarnation’, however, was actually at a circuit in Montjuïc, rather than the current one, which is actually in Montmelo, about 12 miles or 20 kilometres north of the city. The ‘new’ circuit is, in fact, the fourth venue for major motor racing events in the Barcelona area.
One of the best aspects of the modern circuit for fans is the variety of public transport available to get them out to Montmelo. The train from Barcelona Sants station out to Montmelo takes precisely 28 minutes and it’s estimated that 20,000 spectators will arrive in this manner. Additionally, there will be a special bus service. This will cost 6 euros for a return ticket and leave from Passeig Sant Joan 52 – Diputacion, with nearby Metro stops at Tetuan (Purple Line 2) and Girona (Yellow Line 4).
Once at Montmelo, you’ll find that this modern circuit has excellent viewing conditions, as well as first class other facilities – including excellent provision for disabled fans. Just to make sure that you miss nothing, there will be 24 giant television screens around the stadium, with one having a screen of no fewer than 200 square metres.
A good, spectator-friendly racing track, just a few miles outside one of Europe’s most exciting and fascinating cities help make the Spanish Grand Prix an unmissable event for many race fans.
Barcelona F1 Grand Prix tickets (opens in a new window)