Useful information to help you get the most out of your experience at Circuit de Catalunya during the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix. The next race takes place on May 12-14, 2017.
All images © F1Destinations.com. This guide will be fully updated for 2017 around one month before the race.
It’s already warm and sunny in Spain in early May, so be sure to wear light and comfortable clothing to the circuit each day. There is little shade in the General Admission areas and the majority of Grandstands are uncovered, so be sure to take your hat and sunscreen. Wear comfortable shoes, as you will be covering quite a bit of ground on foot, particularly if you are coming via public transport (there’s a 30 minute walk from the Montmelo train station to the circuit).
Parking, Access & Orientation
There is ample parking available next to the circuit (approximately 26 000 spaces.) If you are driving in, be sure to know in advance which parking is the closest to your seats and follow the signs to that zone. Three-day parking tickets can be bought along with your tickets for €15-20 EUR. If you are not organized in advance, it’s possible to buy parking tickets when you arrive at the circuit on Thursday or Friday. The Circuit de Catalunya website provides useful parking access maps.
If you wish to camp, then a pitch with your car costs €45 EUR for the weekend (learn more about camping here). The highway system close to the circuit is well signposted and congestion is limited on Friday and Saturday. Allow a bit more time on Sunday to get in and out of the circuit due to the larger numbers of spectators on race day. For more information on getting to Circuit de Catalunya, read the Getting Around section of our guide.
Seven gates provide entry for fans to Circuit de Catalunya. Check the circuit map to determine the best gate to enter based on where you will be siting. Remember that it is forbidden to bring in any glass or cans into the circuit.
Thursday pit walk for fans
Fans with either three-day or Sunday tickets are entitled to participate in the pitlane walk on Thursday May 12 from 4pm-7pm. There’s good opportunities to meet the drivers and watch the teams in action, but also loads of fans. If you want to avoid the crush, either get there early to be at the front of the queue or wait until later when the crowds die down a bit.
The full race program for the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix weekend features F1’s two main feeder series, GP2 and GP3, both of which will have two races over the course of the weekend, on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. The schedule also includes Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup action. All these series are super competitive and should provide plenty of close racing.
Friday May 13
- 10:00-11:30: Formula 1 Free Practice 1
- 12:00-12:45: GP2 Practice
- 14:00-15;30: Formula 1 Free Practice 2
- 15:55-16:25: GP2 Qualifying
- 16:45-17:30: Porsche Supercup Practice
- 17:50-18:35: GP3 Practice
Saturday May 14
- 09:45-10:15: GP3 Qualifying
- 11:00-12:00: Formula 1 Free Practice 3
- 12:25-12:55: Porsche Supercup Qualifying
- 14:00-15:00: Formula 1 Qualifying
- 15:40-16:45: GP2 Race 1 (37 laps)
- 17:20-18:05: GP3 Race 1 (22 laps)
Sunday May 15
- 09:15-09:50: GP3 Race 2 (17 laps)
- 10:25-11:15: GP2 Race 2 (26 laps)
- 11:35-12:10: Porsche Supercup Race (14 laps)
- 12:30: F1 drivers track parade
- 14:00-16:00: Formula 1 Race (66 laps)
You can find the F1 Village behind the Main Grandstand in the Eastern (yellow) section of the circuit. Fans can purchase merchandise from their favourite team as well as check out the displays from major sponsors or have something to eat or drink. The Boulevard of Champions (Avinguda dels Campions) is also located in this area, where you can see plaques commemorating the World Championship winning drivers (and Moto GP riders) who have competed at the circuit over the past 20-odd years.
Following the action
Live commentary is available trackside over the whole F1 weekend in May. The frequency for English and French commentary is 103 FM and for Spanish and Catalan, 103.2 FM. Alternatively, with an internet enabled smart phone you can access the F1 App for live timing.
As with most F1 tracks, the on-site food and drinks are overpriced. The quality and selection of food on offer at Circuit de Catalunya is widely agreed by fans to just about the worst at any race in Europe. Visit a supermarket before you go to the track to stock up on food and drinks, but remember that you won’t get into the circuit with glass or cans and as we stated above, alcohol is prohibited inside the circuit. Water and softdrinks cost around €4 for 500ml with food starting at approx €8 for fast food such as hamburgers and hot dogs, more for pasta or other full meals. There are plenty of toilet facilities at the circuit and they are generally well maintained and cleaned regularly throughout the weekend.
What are your trackside tips for the Spanish Grand Prix? Leave a comment below.
Advice on flights to Barcelona for the Spanish F1 Grand Prix, getting around in the city and information on how to get to Circuit de Catalunya.
Barcelona boasts world class art and cultural attractions, great shopping, buzzing nightlife and enough dining options to please every budget and palate.
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