Once again, the Grand Prix of Spain will be held from May 11th to May 13th on the Circuit de Barcelona, in Montmeló, about 30 minutes outside of the city. The capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia has been hosting the event since 1991 and never failed to impress with a circuit length of more than 4.500 km and 66 laps.
Before holding the competition on the Barcelona circuit, the Grand Prix was held in several other locations in Spain.
In 1913, the race was originally held in Guadarrama, near Madrid, before converting into the San Sebastian Grand Prix 7 years later and then taking place close to Bilbao. Racing stopped for 10 years during the Spanish Civil War, however it returned in 1946 with a competition at the Pedralbes Street in Barcelona.
In the 1960s, a new circuit in Jamara, Madrid was ready to be used as well as the Montjuïc Street circuit in Barcelona, which was newly refurbished at that time.
Due to tight space and high danger on Montjuïc, the Spanish Grand Prix was confined to Jamara and later to Jerez in Andalusia. In order to promote tourism and Sherries in this region, the mayor of Jerez commissioned a new racing circuit in his town. 1990 was the last race in Jerez and ever since the following year it has been taking place in Montmeló, Barcelona.
Because of the many frequent testing and trainings that take place on these roads, critics claim that the drivers and mechanics might be too familiar with the track which could lead to a reduction of action. However, the circuit is known to be complex because of its mix of high- and low-speed corners, plus its rather bumpy track surface that makes it a physically and mechanically challenging race. The final two turns, known as New Holland, provide the drivers one of the biggest challenges of the competition. A fast exit is essential in order to maximise speed down the start-finish straight into Elf corner. Tyre wear is particularly high on this road and the varying winds that cut across the circuit make it even harder to find an optimum set-up.
Record holder Michael Schumacher won the Grand Prix in Spain 6 times, while Ferrari with its 12 victories has the most wins among the constructors. The race lap record was done in 2008 by Finish racer Kimi Räikkönnen, driving for Ferrari.
But Formula 1 in Spain is more than just the Grand Prix. There are many teams that choose the existing speed circuits in the country to carry out their trainings, test the prototypes and prepare for the following season. These preparatory sessions are open to the public and for a small fee it is possible to attend one of them. The legendary circuit of Jerez in Cádiz and, of course, the one of Catalonia are common in the agenda of the great teams.
The Spanish Grand Prix is a great opportunity to combine an exciting race experience with a cultural city trip. Due to its close location to the city, it offers a unique chance to first visit Barcelona with its beautiful beach, mild Mediterranean climate and impressive monuments like Sagrada Familia or Park Güell and afterwards one can enjoy an anticipating race competition.
The atmosphere at the circuit is intense. Fans from all over the world dress in the colours of their team, wave the flags of their favourite pilot and carry banners of encouragement. Everybody there shares anticipation to see the fastest cars in the world. Throughout the route giant screens are installed so nobody misses a single detail during the competition and the previous qualifying sessions.
source: business destinations
Sounds like the perfect getaway for you? If you got interested in this spectacular event that takes place from May 11th until May 13th in the Barcelona area, get in touch with us. Across Spain offers packages including hotels and tickets for the racing weekend.