Barcelona Track Guide

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Location: Barcelona, Spain Track Length: 4.655 km Laps: 66 Lap Record: 1:18.441

Circuit de Catalunya

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 Catalunya has been the sole home of Formula 1 racing ever since 1991.

The Circuit de 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 Catalunya.

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

However, its future on the Formula 1 calendar is under threat and has been for some time. There is currently no agreement for the Spanish Grand Prix to continue beyond the 2020 campaign.

The Circuit de Catalunya features 16 corners and comes in at 4.655km long in distance. The venue represents Carlos Sainz's home race as he hails from Madrid.

Circuit de Catalunya F1 circuit information

Given that the Circuit de 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 slow left-handed corner is a taste of things to come
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: 2020 Spanish F1 Grand Prix

The Spanish Grand Prix has secured a spot on the new revised calendar for the 2020 season and will round six of the initial eight-round European schedule. Its new date is August 14-16.

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

Tickets can usually be bought via the official Formula 1 ticketing site or the official Circuit de Catalunya website, gpticketshop.com and grandprixevents.com. However, the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix will be held behind closed doors with health and safety of absolute paramount importance throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Fans who did buy tickets for the 2020 race are eligible for a refund.

Circuit de Catalunya ticket lowdown: things to note

In normal circumstances, 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.

Circuit de Catalunya directions: how to get there

The Circuit de 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 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 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 Catalunya address:

Circuit de 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 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 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, Verstappen 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.

Drivers with most wins

Michael Schumacher - 6 (1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
Lewis Hamilton - 4 (2014, 2017, 2018, 2019)
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)
McLaren - 8 (1975, 1976, 1988, 1989, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005)
Williams - 8 (1980, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2012)
Mercedes - 7 (1934, 1935, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Lotus - 7 (1967, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1986)
Bugatti - 3 (1926, 1928, 1929)
Red Bull - 3 (2010, 2011, 2016)

Last 10 wins

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
2010 - Mark Webber, Red Bull

Circuit de Catalunya F1 circuit fastest lap

The fastest recorded lap at the Circuit de Catalunya was achieved by Daniel Ricciardo back in his Red Bull days. At the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix, the Aussie set a new lap record with a 1:18.441 on lap 61 of the 66-lap race.

There was no 'shoey' to be had, though, as Ricciardo was kept off the podium spots by his old Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen. That day, like many throughout the turbo hybrid era, belonged to Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton leading a 1-2 finish.

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."

Spanish Grand Prix Schedule May 8-10

Practice 1 8 May 2020 11:00 AM
Practice 2 8 May 2020 3:00 PM
Practice 3 9 May 2020 12:00 PM
Qualifying 1 9 May 2020 3:00 PM
Qualifying 2 9 May 2020 3:25 PM
Qualifying 3 9 May 2020 3:48 PM
Race 10 May 2020 3:10 PM