Introduction to the Grand Prix
The Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix is held at the Circuit de Catalunya. It is located around 30km outside the city of Barcelona. The circuit has been regularly used for winter testing by the Formula 1 teams and is generally the opening race of the European leg of the F1 calendar. With great viewing platforms and beautiful weather forecasts, this Grand Prix is a serious attraction to the fans.
- First Grand Prix: 1991
- Number of Laps: 66
- Circuit Length: 4.655km
- Corners: 16
- Fastest Lap: 1:18.441 by Daniel Ricciardo in 2018
- Language: Spanish
- Currency: Euro
- Time: GMT +1
What are the best grandstands to watch F1 Spanish Grand Prix?
The Spanish Grand Prix circuit is one of the greats in terms of spectating. There are several grandstands that provide views of multiple corners of the track as well as some decent viewing platforms for the general admission ticket holders.
Grandstand L – this raised platform provides excellent views of the cars coming down the main straight into turns 1 to 2 and again over turns 4-7. This grandstand is definitely one where you’ll be able to see the most wheel to wheel action.
Grandstand G – one of the most popular grandstands with the Formula 1 fans, overlooking the action from turns 10 to 15. While not a prime overtaking section of the track, it’s popular due to its electric atmosphere.
Grandstands K/E/F – positioned one beside another on the outside of turn 1, these will allow you to see the cars coming down the main straight into the first 3 corners of the track. This is where most of the overtaking happens. You will also be able to catch the cars coming out of the pits.
General admission tickets are pretty good value and there are several green areas for people to sit down and watch the action. Some of the better viewing spots are around turns 1-2 and turns 7-9.
Catering inside the circuit grounds has been known to be pretty basic but pricey. We recommend bringing your own food and drinks. An alcohol ban is in place at the Spanish Grand Prix and the only beer available is 0% alcohol.
How to get to F1 Spanish Grand Prix?
Getting to and around Barcelona
Barcelona International Airport (BCN) is the best airport to fly to, located less than 20km south of Barcelona City. There are two large terminals connected by a shuttle bus. Both terminals service international flights. Terminal 1 caters to 70% of the flight traffic while the older Terminal 2 caters to the other 30%, mostly budget airline traffic. You have several options to choose from to get to Barcelona city centre:
There is a dedicated Aerobus service that runs every 10 minutes and is the cheapest and easiest way to get to Barcelona city centre. There is a stop at each of the terminals and a one way ticket will cost you approx. €6.
The metro system in Barcelona is very well developed. This transport option is probably most useful to those with accommodation close to a metro station. While the Line ‘L9 Sud’ will not get you right into the city centre, you will be able to change to another line at one of the stations and get to your destination. An Airport ticket has to be purchased in order to connect between the L9 Sud line and the rest of the metro system which cost €6.
A full metro map of the city can be found here – www.tmb.cat.
For those wanting to travel a little more privately, a taxi is a viable option. Depending on your destination and time of day, this may not be the fastest way around as Barcelona can suffer from severe traffic jams during rush hours. Taxi ranks are located outside Terminals 1 and 2. Fares can vary due to time of day but generally, €25-30 should get you to the city centre.
Note: Due to recurring strikes by taxi drivers in Barcelona, Uber is not available.
If you would like the comfort of your own car, there are several companies available for you. A small, economy level car should set you back around €15 per day.
Getting to the Circuit de Catalunya
The cheapest and most efficient way to get to the track for the Spanish Grand Prix is to take the 30min train to the Montmelo train station. For those living close to Barcelona city centre, you can get on the train at either ‘Sants Estacio’, ‘Passeig de Gracia’ or ‘El Crot’ stations. A one way ticket will cost you less than €3. From there, you can either take a well-signed 20-30 minute walk or use one of the shuttle buses to the circuit.
Sagalés runs a special bus service during the race weekend to the circuit from Barcelona Nord bus station. The journey should take around 45 minutes and a one way ticket costs around €15.
Alternatively, you could drive to the circuit by renting a car. It is around 20km from Barcelona city to Montmelo. Bear in mind that the track is over 4km long and we would recommend to seek parking as close to your seating area as possible.
We do not recommend getting a taxi to the track if you are staying in Barcelona city as it is the least cost/time effective option. However, if you decide to stay somewhere along Costa Brava or Montmello, this is a viable choice.
Where to stay for the F1 Spanish Grand Prix?
There are 3 most popular accomodation options for fans travelling for the F1 Spanish Grand Prix.
Barcelona city centre – most people tend to stay in Barcelona city centre as it provides endless dining, nightlife and sight-seeing opportunities. Commuting to the circuit is simple from almost anywhere in the city centre due to a well-developed public transport system.
Costa Brava – located north of the Barcelona city centre, relatively close to the circuit. There are many seaside towns to choose from and you can easily drive to the circuit over the race weekend. Perfect for those looking to extend their weekend and relax by the sea.
Granollers/Montmello – these are two small towns right beside the track. While staying here will save you travel time, these towns do not offer much in terms of activity outside of the circuit grounds.
What else is there to do in Barcelona?
Barcelona is one of the most visited European cities by tourists – and for good reason! Its Mediterranean climate, unique architecture and Spanish cuisine make it a perfect getaway spot for millions of people every year.
Sagrada Família – this architectural masterpiece is a must see and unlike any other church in the world. The construction of this minor basilica is of immense scale which began in 1882 designed by Antoni Gaudí.
Las Ramblas – a sequence of promenades that runs through the heart of the city, it is the most touristy spot of Barcelona where you can expect to find restaurants, street performers, living statues and more. While locals tend to shy away from it, it is just one of those must-do things for tourists.
Magic Fountain of Montjuïc – located at the head of Avinguda Maria Cristina in the Montjuïc neighborhood of Barcelona. It is a spectacular combination of colour, light, music and water acrobatics. Another must-see while here for the Spanish Grand Prix!
Camp Nou – if you’re also a football fan, you’ll be in heaven. This 99,000-seater stadium is the home ground to one of the biggest and prestigious football clubs in the world – Barcelona FC. There are Stadium and Museum tours available daily except for the day before and the day of the matches. For full details, visit fcbarcelona.com.
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Grand Prix Insider