Circuit de Catalunya

Location Barcelona Track Length 4.655 km Laps 66
Lap Record 1:18.149 LapRecordDriver M Verstappen (2021)

Spanish Grand Prix F1 circuit guide

Pedralbes, Jarama, Montjuic and Jerez were the first initial venues to host the Spanish Grand Prix as part of an official Formula 1 World Championship but, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been the sole home of Formula 1 racing ever since 1991.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is located just outside of Barcelona and is a purpose-built track used across a huge range of racing disciplines. MotoGP and the FIA World Rallycross Championship are two of the other most high-profile series to race here and it was also used as a venue for the 1992 Olympics.

It is widely regarded as an excellent all-rounder, with the track characteristics putting both the power and aerodynamic efficiency of Formula 1 cars under scrutiny with a mixture of high-speed sections and a tricky technical section. It is one of the predominant reasons why pre-season testing also takes place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Given the track's long-standing history with Formula 1, there are plenty of tales to be told that involve this historic venue.

There were doubts over whether the race would be a part of the 2020 and 2021 campaign, but deals for both were agreed, while a longer extension to 2026 was then struck on the basis that the facilities at the venue would be upgraded.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya features 16 corners and comes in at 4.655km long in distance. The venue represents home races for both Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz.

Circuit de Catalunya F1 circuit information

Given that the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is both a testing track and a race track in Formula 1, drivers and teams have become very well accustomed to the challenges this circuit brings. They will know this track like the back of both hands and the rest of their bodies.

This is a high downforce track which begins with a 564m dash to the first corner. Approximately 45 gear shifts later, the drivers will have completed two very fast sectors followed by a tight final section that requires pinpoint precision.

Turn 1 - The lap begins with a winding right hander and represents an excellent overtaking opportunity on entry
Turn 2 - The track quickly hooks back to the left as the speed begins to build back up
Turn 3 - The third turn, back to right, is completely flat out with this generation of Formula 1 cars
Turn 4 - Then it's a drop down to third or fourth gear for the next right hander, important not to understeer here
Turn 5 - A tricky braking point ensues for the following downhill left, drivers will use all of the exit kerb
Turn 6 - Not really considered a corner as such, a mere gentle curve to the left
Turn 7 - The cars then head back uphill with a left-right kink
Turn 8 - The cars are still climbing on the right kink before they are positioned over to the left hand side of the track again
Turn 9 - No guts, no glory here. The cars are thrown in to this flat-out right hander where the exit is initially hidden
Turn 10 - After zooming down the back straight this was a slow left-handed corner, but was reprofiled ahead of the 2021 Spanish GP to create a faster, flowing left bend.
Turn 11 - Attack the left-hand kerb at Turn 11 as much as possible...
Turn 12 - ...to achieve maximum width to throw the car back to the right into this slow, winding corner
Turn 13 - A sharp turn to the right follows
Turn 14 - Then it's back to the left for the first part of the chicane...
Turn 15 - ...and immediately over to the right for the second part
Turn 16 - There is one more right hander to negotiate, which feeds back onto the main straight

Circuit de Catalunya schedule: 2021 Spanish F1 Grand Prix

Friday 20 May

Free practice 1: 2pm-3pm [1pm-2pm UK]
Free practice 2: 5pm-6pm [4pm-5pm UK]

Saturday 21 May

Free practice 3: 1pm-2pm [12noon-1pm UK]
Qualifying: 4pm [3pm UK]

Sunday 22 May

Race: 3pm [2pm UK]

Circuit de Catalunya tickets: how to get them for the big race

Tickets are on sale now for the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix through the Formula 1 website, which will cover all three days of the race weekend.

The cheapest on offer, priced at €286.75, land you a three-day spot in the N Grandstand, which wraps around the outside of Turn 9, and also Grandstand G, situated at the start of the stadium section.

For a special Spanish Grand Prix experience, check out the F1 Experiences section.

General admission tickets start from £120 through Motorsporttickets.com, which allow you to watch on from Turns 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, as well as between Turn 9 and Turn 10.

Circuit de Catalunya ticket lowdown: things to note

By far and away the most popular and highly sought after spot at Circuit de Catalunya is Grandstand G. Thousands of fans pack into section, creating a fantastic atmosphere on race day itself.

This particular vantage point gives racegoers a fantastic view as drivers make their way through the tricky final section where one mistake could leave their afternoon in tatters.

Grandstand L also represents better value for your money as, from here, you will see the cars bomb down the main straight and into Turn 1 and Turn 2 where a vast majority of the overtaking opportunities occur.

And that's not all. Fans will get another view of the cars as they head out of the exit of Turn 4 and once again on the entry in Turn 7.

A general admission ticket is also great value for money, allowing fans to watch on from Turns 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, as well as between Turn 9 and Turn 10.

Circuit de Catalunya directions: how to get there

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one of a select few tracks that has an abundance of parking spaces available outside the venue - 32,000 to be exact.

Those travelling in a car to the track are advised to follow the C-17 road and exit at Montmelo) or, from the AP-7 highway, use exits 13, 14 and 15. The exits 14 and 15 connect to the C-17 road.

To get to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya by train, use the Barcelona Sants, Passeig de Gràcia or Clot rail stations and make Montemelo your final stop. This is the closest station to the track but it is not necessarily an easy journey given the walk will take approximately 45 minutes.

On race weekend, though, a small shuttle bus service to the circuit is available. There is also a special bus service in operation from Barcelona Nord bus station in the city centre to the circuit which also takes 45 minutes.

The best airport to use for the quickest access to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is Barcelona International Airport (BCN), which is located in El Prat de Llobregat.

Regional airports such as Reus (REU) or Girona-Costa Brava (GRO) are cheaper options to fly to and both are approximately 100km away from the circuit.

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya address:

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Mas "La Moreneta"
PD 27
Montmelo, 08160
Barcelona, Espana.

Spanish Grand Prix history, memorable races and past winners

There is no shortage of fantastic races and iconic, historic victories at the Spanish Grand Prix and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has played its role in providing memories that will live long in the hearts of Formula 1 fans.

The first race in Barcelona in 1991 provided the epic shots of two Formula 1 greats in Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell going wheel-to-wheel into the first corner before the later went on to win.

If you are looking for some of the all-time great wet weather drives, then look no further than Michael Schumacher's awesome display at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 1996.

Skip forward to some of the more present-day races and nobody can forget when one Pastor Maldonado was raised on the shoulders of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen after winning the 2012 race.

2016 saw Max Verstappen re-write the Formula 1 history books when, aged 18 years and 228 days, he succeeded Sebastian Vettel in becoming the youngest ever race winner, the youngest driver to bag a podium finish and the youngest ever driver to lead a lap of a Formula 1 race all on his Red Bull debut.

Recent history at this track though belongs to Lewis Hamilton, with the seven-time World Champion standing top of the podium for the past five years.

Drivers with most wins

Michael Schumacher - 6 (1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
Lewis Hamilton - 6 (2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)
Jackie Stewart - 3 (1969, 1970, 1971)
Alain Prost - 3 (1988, 1990, 1993)
Nigel Mansell - 3 (1987, 1991, 1992)
Mika Hakkinen - 3 (1998, 1999, 2000)

Teams with most wins

Ferrari - 12 (1954, 1974, 1981, 1990, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2013)
Mercedes - 9 (1934, 1935, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)
McLaren - 8 (1975, 1976, 1988, 1989, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005)
Williams - 8 (1980, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2012)
Lotus - 7 (1967, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1986)
Bugatti - 3 (1926, 1928, 1929)
Red Bull - 3 (2010, 2011, 2016)

Last 10 wins

2021 - Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2020 - Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2019 - Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2018 - Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2017 - Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2016 - Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2015 - Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
2014 - Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2013 - Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
2012 - Pastor Maldonado, Williams
2011 - Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull

Circuit de Catalunya F1 circuit fastest lap

The fastest recorded race lap at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was achieved by Max Verstappen in 2021, the Red Bull driver setting a 1:18.149.

The pole record though hasn't been beaten since 2006 when Fernando Alonso set a time of 1:14.648 in his second Championship-winning season.

Circuit de Catalunya F1 circuit: what the drivers say

Sebastian Vettel: "The last sector is the most crucial. It is very easy to get it wrong and overcook the tyres. A tiny mistake will see you lose quite a big chunk of lap time so the lap isn't done until the master the last sector."

Pierre Gasly: "The usual cliche about the Catalunya track is that, if your car works well here, it works well everywhere…maybe, but this track has certainly a character all of its own."