Your guide to 2020 F1 pre-season testing in Barcelona

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Once again, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will be hosting pre-season testing for the 2020 Formula 1 season. Here’s everything you need to know about going to Barcelona for the winter tests ahead of the new season. 

All images © F1Destinations.com. The Editor has attended Winter Testing for the past 3 years.

Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona will host six days of pre-season testing in early 2020, a reduction from the eight days of testing held in previous years. The first test will be staged from February 19-21 and the second from February 26-28. Two weeks after the tests conclude, the cars will be on track for the opening round of the new season in Australia on March 13-15.

Tickets are really cheap and you’ve got the circuit to yourself, with few other spectators in the grandstands. VIP tickets (above the pits) are not nearly as expensive as at a full race weekend. You can also take advantage of some special access, which is not normally available at a race weekend. Paddock Access was introduced last year and is also available for 2020, priced at €109 per day – a bargain compared to what the same access would cost you at an actual race weekend, and great for getting up-close access to the teams and drivers. Other packages (all including general circuit access) include a guided tour and special access to the pit roof and VIP grandstand. These special offers do sell out before testing, so best to buy early!

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!

Where & when?
  • Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya near the town of Montmeló, 30km from downtown Barcelona and close to the Costa Brava
  • Test 1: February 19-21, 2020 (Wednesday to Friday)
  • Test 2: February 26-28, 2020 (Wednesday to Friday)

What tickets are available for 2020 winter testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya?

Tickets for 2020 F1 testing went on sale on November 21. Prices are up a little on this year, but the offer is largely the same.

  • General admission = €23 (It’s not necessary to buy these in advance, they are always available at the gate)
  • 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) Edit: Paddock Access tickets are now SOLD OUT
  • Hospitality access in the Piso Boxes above the pit = €266 (including food and open bar). Buy hospitality access here.

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.) UPDATE: Sagales is now offering a bus service from Estació del Nord in Barcelona to the circuit on all testing days for €8 return.

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.

PLEASE NOTE: the second week of testing in 2020 coincides with Mobile World Congress Barcelona (February 24-27), a large trade event that draws thousands of participants to the city. Accommodation in Barcelona is likely to be less available and more expensive during the second week of F1 testing.

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!

2020 Winter F1 Testing: Need to Know

  • 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 is starting to get warmer in March, with daytime temperatures in Barcelona averaging around 16 °C (61 °F). 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. We will be updating the guide for 2018 in the coming months.

Been to Formula 1 testing in Barcelona? Leave a comment below with your tips!

June 23, 2020

Travel Basics – 2021 Spanish Grand Prix

Start planning your trip to Barcelona for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix. Useful information on visas, money, weather and staying healthy.

June 23, 2020

Race Facts – Spanish Grand Prix

History, facts and background of the Spanish Grand Prix, which has been staged at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya since 1991.

June 23, 2020

Accommodation – 2021 Spanish Grand Prix

Our guide to the best places to stay in Barcelona and near Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix.

June 23, 2020

Off-Track Activities – 2021 Spanish Grand Prix

Barcelona boasts world class art and cultural attractions, great shopping and buzzing nightlife. Here’s the best things to do for fans attending the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

June 23, 2020

Trackside – 2021 Spanish Grand Prix

How to get the most out of your experience at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix.

June 23, 2020

Getting There & Around – 2021 Spanish Grand Prix

How to get to Barcelona for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, plus advice on getting to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and around the city.

June 23, 2020

Tickets – 2021 Spanish Grand Prix

Your guide to buying tickets and watching the action at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix

June 23, 2020

Budget Planner – 2021 Spanish Grand Prix

Plan the cost of your trip to the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, including race tickets, accommodation and spending money.

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

Comments (82)

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  1. Dozo says:

    Do you know if the alcohol ban in the F1 event is going to be still effective this year in Barcelona?

    • Editor says:

      Yes, I believe that this will continue. Sorry about that! But there are bars just outside the gates where you can get real beer. You can leave and return for a pitstop!

  2. Steven Flint says:

    Do you know if you can take your camera to the testing?

  3. Paolo says:

    Hi, there will be food kiosks around the circuit during the test days?

    • Editor says:

      Hi Paolo, I am not sure that many food kiosks will be open, probably just a couple behind the main grandstand. Of course they are expensive as well. We will be taking our own food and drink!

  4. Tiger says:

    Can you walk around the whole track or are you penned into a specific section of the track ?

    • Editor says:

      Yes, General Admission areas around the track should be open. The organizers also promise access to the following grandstands: Main Grandstand, F, G, H, and I.

      • Tiger says:

        Excellent – Silverstone penned you into the Luffield area and the old main straight – which was a bit boring :(

  5. vince says:

    Is it possible to arrive at any time during the day?

  6. Sebastian says:

    It seems like all the tickets are sold out already. Are additional tickets for sale on day of the tests?

  7. timi says:

    hi. can I buy tickets at the gate??

  8. massimiliano forestiero says:

    Hi…It’s possibile to move between the varius grandstand? for example: move from grandstand H to main or principale grandstand without leaving the turnstiles?

    Thanks

    • Editor says:

      Hi! Yes, you can actually walk right around the track after you have entered. There is also a useful underpass from grandstand K (near turn 1) over to the inside of the track near turn 6.

  9. Phil Wright says:

    Such a handy guide. I’m there this week. I’ll be getting the train from Barcelona to Montmelo and then walking from there. Do you think Gate 6 will not be open, meaning I should therefore head to Gate 3 instead?

  10. Igor says:

    do you know team line up for tomorrow testing ? or for all days ?

  11. Cris says:

    Great tips, Thanks.
    What would je your best chance to get a driver signature/ selfie. I’m currently on the track and will also be next 2 days.

    • Editor says:

      Hi Cris, it will be difficult if you just have a regular ticket without pits/paddock access. The drivers come into the circuit through a special gate at the top of the circuit – between gate 1 and gate 7 – so not much chance there either. But you never know who you may run into if you just walk around. Also follow the circuit and teams on social media, as they may run competitions or offer the chance to meet the drivers. Good luck!

  12. Cris says:

    Thanks for the quick reply. Will do

  13. Natalie says:

    Hi Andrew, thanks for all the info and great tips! Do you know when the guided tours tickets for the 2018 preseason testing will be available? Want to get them as Xmas gift but can’t find them anywhere yet… would they normally be available from the Barcelona Circuit website or is there any other reliable website selling them?
    Thanks

    • Editor says:

      Hi Natalie, the Barcelona circuit website will be the best place to buy the guided tours during F1 testing. I don’t know when the tickets go on sale, but will notify everyone on social media when they do. Buy quickly as they do sell out!

  14. Sander says:

    Hiya, i was here last year with red bull. Cost me a fortune but was soo worth it, I noticed last year they were selling ( what i think was)paddock passes but since I already had one i did not ask for pricing. do you have any idea what that would cost? Or were they probably only selling the guided tours?

    • Editor says:

      I don’t think they were selling Paddock Passes. There is a guided tour of the circuit and paddock that costs 50 EUR > this is still not yet on sale for 2018. Also these tours sell out quickly. Follow us on social media and we’ll let you know when they are available. I can’t wait to return to Barcelona for testing; I’ve booked flights for the whole second week!

  15. thibaud mni says:

    Hi, i’m french and i’ll come to barcelona to see the pre season test on February 26 and 27.
    I’d like to book a special experience for theses 2 days and i need your help.
    I’d like to book tickets for these 2 days and if available with access to the paddock and track.

    whats the best : a pesos box access for one day and a free ticket at 18€ for the second one ?
    Waiting for your advises

    best regards

    thibaud

    • Editor says:

      Hi Thibaud, the Pesos box is a great idea if you can afford it. Alternatively, I would buy the guided tour on one day for 50 EUR, which also includes general circuit access for that day. The tours are now on sale from the circuit and always sell out quickly.

      • thibaud mni says:

        thanks for your help, thats the first time at the pre season test ! i’ld like to book a great experience.
        Do you know where is the nearest car parking ?

  16. thibaud mni says:

    do you know this “Piso box” experience ?
    with tickets at 50€, i don’t know if we have access to grandstands…do you know if there is some food truck of anything else around the circuit with a basic ticket ?

    best regards

    • Editor says:

      Hi Thibaud, I haven’t been in the Piso box myself, but it’s located above the pits, should be a great experience. There are a couple of places open to buy food and drink, but only behind main grandstand and up behind grandstand G. Personally, I will probably bring my own sandwich and just buy drinks.

  17. LAURa L says:

    Really nice website and mini forum !
    Do you know If the grandstands F G H I will be open on february for the pre season test ?
    Is there a parking outside the circuit ? I’be bought 18€ tickets but I don’t know how to proceed with my car ?
    Thank you !

    • Editor says:

      Hi Laura,
      Parking is free, but I am not sure all the carparks are open. I parked in the parking next to the main entrance last year (behind Main grandstand). There was plenty of free spaces. As for grandstands, it will probably be the same as last year: grandstands F, G, H & I were open, plus the General Admission areas and the members area inside turn 1. See you there!

  18. Igor says:

    Hello!
    Is there any schedule for 26-27?
    We can join only for one day, and wanted to choose what teams to see on track. If there is a chance you know that. Or it doesn’t matter, every day all the teams will be on track?

    Thanks!

    • Editor says:

      Hi Igor, all teams should be on the track every day, unless they have technical problems! Closer to the day, check “Circuit Cat” on social media to find out which driver from each team is in action on each day.

  19. Angus says:

    Hi,
    Just wondering what transportation options there are for the winter testing. Are there still buses that run from Barcelona to the track, or is that only for the Spanish Grand Prix? Thanks!

  20. Massimiliano says:

    hi…the 8 march i will come i barcelona to see the f1 test…but is it true that during the lunch break you can walk on the pitlane whit the general admission ticket? if you from where do you enter?
    thanks for the replay
    Massimiliano

    • Editor says:

      After you have entered the circuit (paid 18 EUR for general admission) you can purchase a “special pass who will give you access to the terrace on the top of the garages building, the VIP Grandstand, the pit-lane walkabout from 13 to 14h and a 10-minute go-kart session in the go-kart track at the Circuit (next to the paddock).” This costs 30 EUR extra and can be bought from the information point at the Merchandising Area (behind the Main Grandstand).

      • Massimiliano says:

        thank you very much for your reply and I have another question … if I purchase the special pass, how do I get to the terrace above the top of the garages building and to the VIP VIP Grandstand from the entrance 3 the one behind the main grandstand?
        thanks for the replay
        Massimiliano

        • Editor says:

          I’m not 100% sure, but I think there is an underpass that goes below the circuit from near the back of the main grandstand. I’m sure they will tell you when you buy the tickets!

  21. Paul says:

    I need to buy 11 tickets for Friday 9th, but the website only allows 5 at a time. Should I pre-buy the tickets? Or will it be OK to buy at the gate?

  22. Elaine says:

    Is there parking for motorhomes please? Also we will have a dog, can they enter with us on a lead?

    • Editor says:

      There is free parking; I assume you can park a motorhome, but you cannot stay overnight. I don’t see why you couldn’t bring a dog in on a leash – but best to contact the circuit to ask.

  23. Ryan says:

    Hi if I purchase the tour for €50 can you confirm if this year you can buy the special pass which includes pit lane walk and also can you confirm if you can pay to access the paddock as it’s sold out ?

    • Editor says:

      Hi Ryan, the 50 EUR ticket with guided tour is different to the 50 EUR ticket with go-karts, pit lane walk and access to the pit roof. As for the Paddock tickets for 100 EUR, depends which day you want to go – they are not sold out for all days online. If they are showing as sold out online, I don’t think you’ll be able to buy it at the circuit. Sorry.

  24. Ian says:

    Hi, Is the Hospitality Acces tickets (Montjuic Club) significantly better than Paddock access? The price is more than double so wondering if it’s worth it??

    • Editor says:

      It’s worth it only if you want food and drink all day. The views are not special, given Paddock tickets give you access to the Pit Roof and VIP Grandstand etc.

  25. Melissa says:

    Do you know when I’m likely to be able to look into dates and tickets for 2020?

  26. Samuele says:

    Hi, do you known where I can buy it?

  27. Marcel says:

    Hi! I am free only on 28 February, and hence just have a single day to visit the track to see pre-season testing.

    Between the ‘Circuit Experience + Guided Tour’ and the ‘Paddock Access’ ticket, which one would you recommend?

    The Paddock Access package appears to be all-inclusive minus the guided tour. And the guided tour includes tours of the control room, cool-down room, podium, etc. which I really don’t want to miss out on ideally. Ultimately, which option would you recommend?

  28. Klaudia Piatek says:

    Hi, what is the difference between paddock tickets and the Montjuic club(+paddock) tickets?

    • Editor says:

      Hi Klaudia, the Montjuic Club gets you food and drinks throughout the day, and an indoor warm space to watch the track action above the pits. The Paddock tickets don’t include that, so they are cheaper.

  29. Giulia says:

    Hi, i would like to know if with the Montjuic club pass you can access to the paddock all day (ie can i get in and out whenever i want) or if it only offers a single paddock tour during the day. I understand from the circuit’s web site that the “paddock” ticket offers access to the paddock full day. So my choice on what type of tickets buy (paddock or montjuic club) depends heavily on it. If you could help me, i would be very pleased! Thank you!!

  30. Clare Hunt says:

    We have booked tickets for 26th -28th February and will be arriving by campervan. Where can we pitch up for the duration? We will have motorbike transport to get to the circuit.

  31. Franciska Varga says:

    Hi! I read last year’s experiences about winter testing and I saw in a lot of comments that they had to go to the Accreditation Centre to collect their tickets and couldn’t do that at the Circuit Entrance. However when I puchased the tickets for this year I got an e-mail including the tickets which say ‘Remember to bring these tickets printed, in PDF or passbook, no collection service in the site.’ So the question is: if I bring the tickets printed from the e-mail, I don’t have to go the Accreditation Centre, right? (We bought 69€ tickets if that matters.) Sorry if the answer is obvious but I got confused from last year’s comments.:D

    • Editor says:

      I would go with the information on the tickets this year. Sounds like it has changed, which is a good thing! I believe there will be a kind of accreditation centre behind the Main Grandstand, near the tunnel to the Paddock

  32. Ralph Aziz says:

    I bought 2 Tribune K tickets for the Spanish F1 GP in May. On the tickets it says “Enjoy the Formula One Test days for Free”.

    Can I just turn up on any of the test days and get entrance to the circuit or do I have to order Test Day tickets before ? If so how do I order the tickets ?
    I assume the Free entrance to the Test Days will be just General Admission ?

    Thanks for your response.

    • Editor says:

      Hi Ralph, assuming you already have your Spanish Grand Prix tickets, you can just turn up with those and get General Admission entrance for free at testing (normally costs about 22 EUR per day).

  33. Grant Lowson says:

    Hi Ralph,
    I’ve just bought 2 tickets which state Circuit Experience / Pit Walk on them for €59 each. It’s a bit confusing as it also says VIP access? Which parts of the Circuit does this give us access to. The same areas seem to be referred to differently on each website. 1st time visitors do all a bit clueless….
    Thanks

    • Editor says:

      Hi Grant, the circuit experience/VIP access means that you can go through the tunnel under the Main Grandstand over to the pit building. You cannot get into the Paddock itself, but you can see inside the Paddock from the first floor balcony that runs along the entire pit building. You can also go up to the roof (where the Paddock club is normally during Spanish GP) and see down to the pit lane – and the track of course. The other perk is that you can go and sit in the VIP grandstand – this is accessed via a bridge from the Paddock area, near the tunnel. Finally, you get to go on the pit lane walk during the lunch break. Andy

  34. Gilliant Chant says:

    Hi Just found your information on your website which I had not seen elsewhere – it is really helpful. Thinking about going with son for his 18th Birthday – sorry have some questions – is it worth going for two days? We were going for the Circuit Experience (other better tickets sold) on the first day and then normal entry on the second- do you know what the pit experience involves (sorry not that knowledgeable on F1 (as you can tell!!). Also is it worth going for two days? Any other tips for a memorable 18th would be great. Thanks.

    • Editor says:

      Hi Gillian, I think it’s worth going for two days. You never know what may happen with the weather – perhaps the cars won’t be running so much on one of the days. The circuit experience means that you can go through the tunnel under the Main Grandstand over to the pit building. You cannot get into the Paddock itself, but you can see inside the Paddock from the first floor balcony that runs along the entire pit building. You can also go up to the roof (where the Paddock club is normally during Spanish GP) and see down to the pit lane – and the track of course. You can also go and sit in the VIP grandstand – this is accessed via a bridge from the Paddock area, near the tunnel. Finally, you can go on the pit walk during the lunch break for 1 hour. Hope you have a great time with your son. Feel free to join our Facebook group if you have more questions (link is in this article)

  35. Jordi Riart says:

    Can we know in advance which racing teams will be during the tests for the 2 weeks?

  36. Tomas says:

    Hi, what areas can I access with general admissions ticket for Barcelona Tests in February? Any grandstands?

    Thanks

    • Editor says:

      Hi Tomas, read the post again! There are three grandstands open – the Main grandstand, G and F. You can also walk around the whole circuit, there are plenty of good views in General Admission. I like the inside of the first corner, for example.

  37. Erwan says:

    Hi, I have bought my tickets one month ago on the official F1 ticket store and I can only download the invoice but not the e-ticket. It says “Your tickets will be available for download 1-2 weeks before the event. For last minute orders please allow approx. 48 hours for the tickets to be generated.”

    Is it okay to just show the invoice ? In the worst case, can I buy tickets at the entrance ?

    Thank you

    • Editor says:

      Sounds like you need to contact customer service at the official F1 ticket store. I don’t think the invoice will be enough at the gate. Yes you can buy General Admission tickets at Gate 3 for 23 EUR

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