Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is expected to host the first three days of pre-season testing ahead the 2022 Formula 1 season. Here’s everything you need to know about attending and being the first to see the new generation of F1 cars on track.
- All images © F1Destinations.com. The Editor attended Winter Testing in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
- Please note that neither F1 nor the circuit have confirmed 2022 pre-season testing dates in Barcelona, and tickets are not yet on sale.
- Join our closed Facebook group Going to pre-season F1 testing in Barcelona to connect with fellow fans, ask advice and plan joint trips to the circuit!
Ahead of the introduction of new technical regulations in 2022, Formula 1 is expected to hold two 3-day test sessions in Barcelona (February 23-25) and Bahrain (March 11-13). The first race of the 2022 F1 season is also in Bahrain on March 18-20.
The first week of testing in Barcelona will not be broadcast live on TV, but journalists will be in attendance. We await confirmation on whether fans will be able to attend, and we are hopeful that General Admission attendance will be possible – though access to the F1 Paddock previously available appears to be highly unlikely given the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why attend winter testing in Barcelona?
First and foremost, you will be among the first in the world to see the new generation of F1 cars on track, which is really cool! Tickets are normally very cheap and you’ve got the circuit to yourself, with few other spectators in the grandstands.
Don’t forget! It’s called testing for a reason. Not all the new cars will be fast or reliable out of the box, not all the big-name drivers will be there every day and not much of the on-track action will be ‘on-the-limit’. However, it’s an excellent opportunity to get close to the cars, teams and drivers in a relaxed environment. Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is also excellent for amateur F1 photographers!
What tickets are available?
Tickets are not yet on sale for 2022 F1 testing in Barcelona and we don’t yet know if fans will be able to attend. Prices below from 2020 are provided for comparison, though it seems likely that only some of the below tickets will be available in 2022 (e.g. General Admission and hospitality access):
- General Admission = €23*
- General admission + guided tour = €59. (You get to see the control room, podium, cool down room and media conference room, plus a bus tour around the inside of the circuit while the cars are on the track, which is pretty cool)
- General admission + circuit experience = €59 (This includes a pit lane walk during the lunch break plus access to the pit roof terrace + VIP grandstand)
- General admission + guided tour + circuit experience = €69 (The above two packages combined)
- General admission + Paddock Access = €109 (Recommended. In addition to all-day access to the F1 Paddock, these tickets also get you the pit lane walk at lunch time, plus pit roof and VIP grandstand access)
- Hospitality access in the Piso Boxes above the pit = €266 (including food and open bar).
*It’s not normally necessary to buy General Admission tickets in advance as they are always available at the gate. In previous years, fans who have bought tickets for the Spanish Grand Prix from the circuit have also been able to access testing for free by showing their purchase receipt.
Where to stay & how to get to the track?
The teams and media generally book the best hotels close to the track, meaning you could have some interesting guests in the breakfast room if you stay near Montmeló. Further afield, the beautiful city of Barcelona is only 30km away and it’s not too difficult to take a train to the circuit (our advice on Getting Around at the Spanish Grand Prix is also valid for testing.)
In 2020, Sagales offered a bus service from Estació del Nord in Barcelona to the circuit on all testing days for €8 return. We don’t yet know if this service will be available in 2022.
Another option is to hire a car and stay in one of the coastal towns on the nearby Costa Brava such as Montgat or Lloret del Mar. They will be quiet at this time of year, but still pleasant. It’s best to fly into Ryanair’s hub at nearby Girona airport if you choose to stay on the Costa Brava and hire a car. There’s a good network of motorways in the region and traffic should be light if you avoid Barcelona; just don’t forget to take a GPS or have navigation available on your smartphone.
Need to Know
The below information relates to 2020 and is provided for information purposes. This will be updated if/when tickets go on sale for 2022:
- Click here for circuit access maps
- Gates open each day at 08:30. Enter via Gate 3 behind the main grandstand; all other gates are closed for entry, though you can leave by Gate 1 behind Grandstand G at the end of the day.
- The cars will be on track from 09:00-13:00 and 14:00-18:00 each day.
- The following grandstands will be open: Main grandstand (top and bottom tiers), F Grandstand on first corner and G Grandstand. Check the grandstand map.
- Spain experiences a milder winter than much of Europe, but is not exactly warm in late February. Daytime temperatures in Barcelona average around 15 °C (60 °F) in February. Realistically though, you can expect anything from snow and rain to warm sunny weather, so be prepared.
- Read our detailed travel guide to the Spanish Grand Prix for advice on traveling to Barcelona and getting the most out of your stay.