Spanish F1 Grand Prix 2024: A Thrilling Weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

The Spanish F1 Grand Prix will take place on 23rd June 2024 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. This venue which can accommodate as many as 140,000 spectators has borne witness to some of iconic moments since hosting its first race in 1991. Highlights have included Nigel Mansell’s commanding performances in the all-conquering Williams, Fernando Alonso’s first ‘home wins’ and Max Verstappen’s sensational maiden victory for Red Bull in 2016.

The race circuit is located in Montmeló, some 20km north-east of Barcelona. It also serves as an important winter testing venue for the Formula One teams and drivers who use the track to assess upgrades made over the European winter.

Spanish F1 Grand Prix
Spanish F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona

History of the Spanish F1 Grand Prix

Motor racing first came to Spain in 1913 with the San Sebastián Grand Prix, held on public roads. It wasn’t until the 1920s that a purpose built race track was constructed, with the Sitges-Terramar serving as the venue for the very first Spanish F1 Grand Prix in 1923. The race continued sporadically until the 1950s, when it joined the Formula One world championship calendar in 1951.

The first Formula One Spanish Grand Prix was held at Pedralbes in Barcelona. The race was held there for two years before moving to Jarama and Montjuic. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Spanish F1 Grand Prix had no fixed home and was held at a variety of circuits.

Its time as a world championship event ended in 1981 after safety concerns with the Montjuic circuit. It would be another decade until Formula One returned to Spain, with the all new Circuit de Catalunya hosting the first race of F1’s Spanish revival in 1991.

Built as the permanent home of the Spanish F1 Grand Prix, Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya has hosted every edition of the race since 1991. The circuit has seen many memorable moments since Nigel Mansell’s inaugural victory in 1991 which have included six wins each for Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton.

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one of the most technically challenging circuits used in Formula One. Built in 1991, it features fast corners, heavy braking zones and changes of elevation that test the very best drivers and cars. At 4.655km in length, Barcelona is classed as a medium-long circuit. It is made up of 16 corners, the majority of which are medium to high speed.

Spanish F1 Grand Prix Circuit
Spanish F1 Grand Prix: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

The first sector of the lap is the fastest, with a series of flowing corners that see the cars reach close to 200mph. The most famous corner here is turn 3, a long radius right hander that requires total commitment.

The second sector is tighter and more technical. The flowing rhythm of sector one is interrupted by a chicane and some 90 degree corners, including the tight left-right complex halfway through the lap. Traction is key through here.

The final sector sees the track wind back on itself in a long, never-ending series of corners. It all leads up to the heavy braking zone for the final chicane, one of the main overtaking points on the circuit.

With its challenging combination of corner types, Barcelona provides the all round test for the F1 cars. Success here requires strong performance in traction, braking and aerodynamic efficiency through the sweeping high speed corners.

Circuit de Catalunya Map

Spanish F1 Grand Prix Circuit de Catalunya Map
Spanish F1 Grand Prix Circuit de Catalunya Map

Getting to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

Transport From Barcelona

The Circuit de Catalunya is 20km north of Barcelona. The best way of getting there by public transport from Barcelona is to take a local train (cercanias) from any of the following three stations:

  • Sants
  • Passeig de Gràcia
  • El Clot.

The train will be going to Macanet-Massanes but you must get off at Montmeló. Montmeló is on the green number 2 line, 5 stops after El Clot.

Train to Montmelo from Barcelona

There are trains every 30 minutes and the journey takes about 40 minutes. A transfer will be available from the Montmeló train station to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as the walk is about 30 minutes.

Transport From Girona

If you’re coming from Girona you should take take a RENFE train on line 2 heading for Barcelona and get off at Montmeló. The journey takes about one hour.

Spanish F1 Grand Prix Tickets

Tickets for the Spanish Grand Prix are available directly from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya website. Grandstand seating, general admission and VIP packages are available.

Grandstand tickets offer reserved seating at various points around the track, with the higher rows giving you views into more sections of the circuit. General admission gets you access to the open areas around the track, allowing you to find your own spot. VIP packages give amenities like pit lane access for the ultimate Spanish Grand Prix experience.

When planning your trip, it’s advisable to book tickets well in advance to get the best selection. Prices are at their lowest in the initial sales period before increasing as the race approaches.

Buy the Weekend Pass: You can order Spanish Grand Prix tickets for the Sunday of the race but the price of a three day pass is more or less the same price. So if you’re there for the weekend you should buy the weekend pass which gives you access to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for all the qualifiers as well as access to the pits on the Thursday before the race.

Which Tickets to Choose at the Spanish F1 Grand Prix

Best Viewing Grandstands

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has 14 grandstands of which only three are covered. Here are some things to consider when choosing your tickets for the Spanish Grand Prix:

  • Grandstand F – Located on the start/finish straight, you’ll see the grid, start, pit stops, and finish of the race here. You can also see cars through turns 1 and 2.
  • Grandstand H – At the top of the raised T9 grandstand, you get great views downhill through turns 8-10 and towards the stadium section. Overtaking happens directly in front.
  • Grandstand M – Situated at the heavy braking zone for turn 1, you’ll be able to witness cars braking from over 200mph down to 60mph as they jostle for position.
  • Grandstand N – Provides great views of the tricky chicane at turns 13 and 14 as drivers battle hard on the last lap.
  • General Admission at Turn 3 – A great spot to feel the speed as cars take the curved turn 3 at close to 200mph. You can often see daredevil overtakes here too.
  • General Admission at Turn 5 – Sit on the grassy hillside overlooking turn 5 for views back across the track to see multiple corners in action.

For the best views of overtaking, grandstands at turns 1 and 10 are ideal. For speed and technical corners, general admission at turns 3 and 5 is recommended. And for the overall experience, the start/finish grandstand allows you to see a bit of everything.

Grandstand Ticket Pricing

The most expensive seats are in stand D which is in front of the pits offering great views of wheel changes and fast refuelling as well as the starting grid, the finish and the podium ceremony. It also offers an excellent view of the last turn coming into the main straight which is one of the fastest and most difficult on the circuit.

Grandstands E and F are the next priciest as they are at the end of the main straight where cars go into the Elf turn. This is one of the few parts of the track where drivers might be able to overtake their rivals.

The cheapest tickets are in a section called the ‘Pelouse’ which is an open area with grass banks where you can move around freely before and during the race. Large screens placed strategically around the circuit allow you to follow the race. There is no designated seating in this area.

Recent Winners of the Spanish F1 Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher are the two most successful drivers at the Spanish F1 Grand Prix with 6 wins apiece. Hamilton’s Mercedes team had dominated the event in recent years, but with Red Bull’s resurgence Max Verstappen broke that run with victories in 2022 and 2023.

2014Lewis HamiltonMercedes
2015Nico RosbergMercedes
2016Max VerstappenRed Bull
2017Lewis HamiltonMercedes
2018Lewis HamiltonMercedes
2019Lewis HamiltonMercedes
2020Lewis HamiltonMercedes
2021Lewis HamiltonMercedes
2022Max VerstappenRed Bull
2023Max VerstappenRed Bull