2020 Spanish Grand Prix
Number of Laps: 66
Circuit Length: 4.655km
Race Distance: 307.104 km
Lap Record: 1:18.441 Daniel Ricciardo (2018)
The 2020 Spanish Grand Prix will run from 8-10 May 2020, in Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
08 May – Free Practice 1&2
09 May – Free Practice 3 & Qualifying Race
10 May – Race
The circuit is located in Montmeló, it is a small town that is just 20 kilometres northeast of Barcelona, Spain.
The best way to reach Circuit de Catalunya during the Spanish Grand Prix is by train. Several trains will transport passengers to Montmeló and back.
When travelling by train from Barcelona, one will have to take the RENFE R2 Train from stations Sants Estacio, Passeig de Gràcia, or El Clot going to Maçanet Massanes. From where you drop off, it is going to be a 30-minute walk to the circuit. If you’re taking the train from Girona, take the RENFE R2 train, the one going to Maçanet Massanes, this route usually takes you 60 minutes to get to Montmeló.
Another option is a shuttle bus from Barcelona. This service is offered by Sagalés bus company where you will have to book tickets ahead of time. On a Friday, the bus will transport you to the circuit starting 8 AM to 12:30 for every 30 minutes. On Saturday, the earliest is at 7:30 AM up to 12:30 every 15 minutes. And on Sunday, the bus will transport passengers to the circuit from 7:30 to 12:00 every 10 minutes. When going back to Barcelona in the evening the last bus will travel at 18:00 on Friday and Sunday and at 18:30 on Saturday.
You can also travel to the circuit by car. There are two routes you can take, the C-17 or C-33, both are a 20-kilometre ride to Montmeló. The C-17 route will take you to the northern part of the track, take the exit Parets del Vallès and just follow the signs to the parking area. When taking the C-33 route, you will be directed to the southern part of the circuit, take exit 13 Granollers and follow the signs going to the parking area. It is recommended that you book parking in advance if you’re taking a vehicle with you.
You can bet on individual races throughout the 2020 Formula 1 season, the qualifying head-to-head battle, and the Driver’s and Constructor’s Championships at beteasy.com.au
The Spanish Grand Prix is one of the oldest F1 races both in Europe and in the whole world. It reached 100 years in 2013 but it started modestly as a production car race. It wasn’t always smooth sailing though as the race encountered a series of ups and downs, like being interrupted for a decade due to World War I and was then revived and ran for the second time after the war. The race was endorsed to the European Championship in 1935 just 8 years after it became part of the World Manufacturer’s Championship; however, when the Spanish civil war broke, the race was again brought to an end. It wasn’t until 1967 that the Spanish Grand Prix was back on the scene and has, since then, been a staple of the Formula One World Championship.
Spain has always been enthusiastic about racing that even before the Spanish Grand Prix different motor racing events were already taking place in the country. The Catalan Cup that happened in 1908 and 1909 won by Jules Goux were considered the most distinguished of racing events back then as they provided the backbone for the country’s racing traditions.
The first Spanish Grand Prix happened in 1913 but it was done differently. The race followed touring car rules instead of the Grand Prix formula during that time. Carlos de Salamanca, a Spanish driver won in this particular race.
The first Spanish Grand Prix happened in a 300-km road circuit located at Guadarrama, which was close to Madrid.
The strong appeal of racing to the country’s masses then led to the construction of a permanent race track, the Sitges-Terramar, a 2-km oval that served as the racing track for the 1923 Spanish Grand Prix.
After 1923 race organisers had to find another venue for upcoming races as Sitges-Terramar faced financial woes that made it impossible for the track to be used for future race events. The Circuito Lasarte became the venue for the 1926 Spanish Grand Prix, an 11-mile road course and the main racing track for the San Sebastian Grand Prix, Spain’s main racing event before the Spanish Grand Prix became established in the country.
The 1927 Spanish Grand Prix was part of the AIACR World Manufacturers’ Championship but it still wasn’t an established Formula One racing event in Spain. Spanish Grand Prix races in 1928 and 1929 ran according to sports car regulations.
In the years 1930-1932 several unfortunate events like the major stock market crash on Wall Street and other economic and political problems led to the cancellation of the scheduled Spanish Grand Prix’s. It was only in 1933 that the race was revived after being backed by the Spanish government. Two more races happened after that but were again interrupted when the civil war broke in 1935.
After the civil war ended the first race happened in 1946, the race was known as the Penya Rhin Grand Prix and was held at the Pedralbes circuit located in Barcelona. But it was only in 1951 that Spain became part again of the Formula One Championship held at the same circuit. The 1951 race was won by Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina who drove an Alfa Romeo, this was also his first world championship event.
1952, 1953, 1956 and 1957 races were cancelled due to lack of financial resources. The 1954 race pushed through and the Briton Mike Hawthorn emerged as the winner. This was a huge win for Ferrari as it brought down Mercedes, who, at that time seemed to be unbeatable during racing events. The 1955 Spanish Grand Prix was cancelled after a tragic accident took place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans killing off more than 80 people who were audiences of the racing event. The accident led to the formulation of safety measures for spectators. The stricter rules implemented also meant that the Pedralbes circuit could no longer be used as a track for racing events.
Jarama and Montjuïc
During the 1960’s, Spain worked towards returning to the World of International Motor racing. Efforts were put in place by the Royal Automobile Club of Spain to construct a new racing circuit at Jarama. The Spanish government on the other hand revamped the Montjuïc circuit in Barcelona with safety upgrades in place. In 1967 a non-championship Grand Prix happened at Jarama, and Jim Clark who was driving a Lotus F1 car won it.
The Spanish Grand Prix was held at Jarama in 1968, and it was agreed upon that subsequent races were alternately held at Jarama and Montjuïc circuits. So in 1969 the Montjuïc circuit hosted the F1 race where Jackie Stewart won. The 1970 race was a tight and fierce event as drivers Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver got into an accident where they escaped with burns. Stewart dominated the scene that year and the year after that. The 1974 race marked Niki Lauda’s first win.
The Montjuïc circuit witnessed a tragedy when four spectators were killed in 1975 on the race’s 26th lap, Rolf Stommelen’s rear wing was severed causing a crash. Several protests happened prior to that race as track safety was in question because Armco barriers were not properly secured. Race drivers did not want to proceed but they conceded when organisers threatened to lock their cars inside the stadium. Jochen Mass won after the race was stopped on the 29th lap.
After the tragedy that happened in 1975, the Montjuïc circuit was no longer used for racing events and Jarama became the sole circuit where F1 events were held. The 1976 race was won by James Hunt who drove the McLaren; however he faced disqualification when it was discovered that his McLaren was 1.8 inches wider than the prescribed width. McLaren appealed and Hunt’s points were restored.
The races that took place in 1977 and 1978 were won by Mario Andretti in a Lotus 78. The 1980 race was not attended by Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, and Renault when FISA President announced a day before the race weekend that the Spanish Grand Prix was not part of the championship race, only independent teams who belonged to FOCA participated in that year’s race where Alan Jones who drove in a Williams won. The 1981 race witnessed one of the greatest race drives – Gilles Villeneuve brought down four of his competitors using a Ferrari that was considered inferior to those four cars. The 1982 race was cancelled and another F1 race was not to be witnessed until 1986.
Another racing circuit was built in Jerez when the Mayor saw an opportunity to bring in crowds for tourism and their sherries. The track was finished just in time for the 1986 championship, it was called the Circuito Permanente de Jerez.
The racing track held several racing events including the battle between Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell. This was a remarkable race as Senna and Mansell finished alongside one another, Senna being ahead of Mansell for only 0.014 seconds. The race in 1987 was dominated by Mansell but Senna was up for another win in 1989. The 1990 race was the last Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez, the location being a remote place made it difficult to bring in the crowds, this, along with Donnelly’s accident during the race that year became major factors for the racing circuit to no longer be used for future races.
The Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya was built in 1991 and was supported by the Spanish Government. The track was used for events that same year and onwards.
The 1992 race in Catalunya was promoted as the Olympic Games Grand Prix. Most of the wins from that year until 1994 were from Williams. Michael Schumacher dominated for a total of 6 times, this included the 1996 race that he won despite the heavy rain, it was also his first win for Ferrari. Mika Häkkinen won a total of three races in Catalunya and was supposed to win another if not for a car failure on the last lap of the 2001 race.
Race driver Fernando Alonso contributed largely to the Spanish Grand Prix’s fame and boost in attendance. Alonso placed second in races in 2003 and 2005. He won in 2006 from being in the pole position and he bagged another victory in 2013. He placed third in 2007 and second in 2010 and 2012. Pastor Maldonado who drove for Williams won in 2010 and 2012 races, both were won from pole position, it was a first for a Venezuelan driver like Maldonado, also a first for Williams whose last taste of victory was during the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix and also their first Spanish Grand Prix win and pole position victory.
Most of the victories that happened in the racing track in Catalunya were from pole positions, only 4 out the 19 races from 2001-2019 were not.
The circuit is a favourite among drivers as it is a combination of corners that are high speed and low speed. Turn 3 is the most notable as it gives drivers the chance to check the car’s balance.
The Spanish Grand Prix is an event that you wouldn’t want to miss. Aside from the fact that F1 events are always something worth looking forward to, it’s a plus that Barcelona is one of those cities filled with everything nice – good food, amazing culture, perfect beaches.
There’s a lot of choices to choose from. You can either choose the outside of turn 1 of Grandstand A as it has the best spot for overtaking scenarios or you can also opt for turn 3 of the general admission area as it gives you the best spot to see the downforce capabilities of F1 cars.