Formula One in Spain – Rev up for a Great Racing Experience
Since the turn of the century, drivers such as Pedro de la Rosa, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz Jr have awoken a real passion for Formula One in Spain.
Several Spanish tracks have hosted F1 races over the years, including the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Andalusia, the Jarama circuit in Madrid and the Valencia Street Circuit. However, the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmeló, just over 30 kilometres from Barcelona, is the only track in Spain that currently forms part of the F1 World Championship.
The Circuit de Catalunya has been the venue of the Spanish Grand Prix since 1991. What's more, at present it has the honour of marking the start of the European Formula One season, usually taking place at the end of April or the beginning of May.
The track is easily reachable from central Barcelona by both train and car, with direct trains even available to the airport, and special bus services also run to the circuit from both Barcelona and from Montmeló train station.
Tickets to the Spanish Grand Prix go on sale well in advance and are available from the Circuit de Catalunya website, as well as other dealers. It is worth noting that hotels in the city do tend to fill up fairly early for the race dates.
Besides staging the Spanish GP, the Circuit de Catalunya has also been a regular fixture in F1's pre-season schedule in recent years. It will retain this status in 2017, when it will be hosting eight days of testing in February and March. This is a great opportunity to see the cars and teams up-close while they tune up for the coming season. Tickets can be purchased separately from the track's website, while fans who buy Spanish GP tickets in advance often enjoy free entry to the tests.
If you love Formula One but aren't able to attend the Spanish Grand Prix or the pre-season tests, the track also offers weekly guided tours which can be booked on its website. In addition, with the sport remaining highly popular across the country, if you are visiting Spain during the F1 season, you're sure to find somewhere with a good atmosphere to watch the races.