Your guide to 2018 F1 preseason testing in Barcelona

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Want to be one of the first to see the new 2018 Formula 1 cars on track? Then you’ll need to get to beautiful Barcelona, which will be holding F1’s only 2018 preseason tests in late February and early March.

All images © F1Destinations. Read our report: What we learned from going to 2017 F1 testing.

Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona will host all eight pre-season testing days for 2018, which are held in a two-week period beginning on February 26 and ending on March 9. This will be your only opportunity to see the new 2018 cars on track before the season kicks off in Melbourne on March 25. Tickets are really cheap and spectators get free roaming access to most of the circuit’s grandstands. You’ll feel like you have the circuit to yourself, especially if Fernando Alonso isn’t in action. VIP tickets (above the pits) are not nearly as expensive as at a full race weekend and normally include a supervised tour of the paddock. VIP tickets or not, it’s still probably your best chance all year to get that selfie with your favorite driver. 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: Monday February 26 to Thursday March 1, 2018
  • Test 2: Tuesday March 6 to Friday March 9, 2018

WHERE TO BUY 2018 PRE-SEASON TESTING TICKETS

General Admission tickets cost €18 per day for adults (€9 for children aged 6-16) and can be purchased in advance or at the gate. The mid-week running of the tests obviously impacts the number of spectators coming to the circuit, meaning that tickets are highly unlikely to sell out ahead of time. Piso Box VIP tickets – above the pits –  cost €254 per day (half price for children aged 6-16) and include a limited tour of the paddock area.

Buy advance 3-day or Sunday tickets to the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix on May 11-13) and you will be granted FREE entry to the test days. Check out our guide on buying tickets to the Spanish Grand Prix, which includes videos and pictures showing you the views from all the grandstands and general admission areas at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. You can save 10% when buying tickets before February 28, 2018.

TAKE A GUIDED TOUR OF THE CIRCUIT

Tickets for the guided tours went on sale January 19 and will sell out quickly. Buy here. Guided tours of the circuit are also available during the test days. The tour costs €50 and also includes a full day’s access to the grandstands and general admission areas. There are three daily tours each day of the testing; at 10:00, 12:00 and 15:00. The tour lasts around 75-90 minutes and includes a look at the briefing room, pre-podium area, podium, vídeo room and paddock, as well as the internal service roads around the circuit. The tours depart from the circuit shop behind the main grandstand.

WHERE TO STAY AND 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.) 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. For general advice on getting to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, read Getting There & Around from our Spanish Grand Prix guide.

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’. None of this will stop us returning in 2018….!

MORE INFORMATION ON 2018 F1 TESTING

  • Click here for circuit access maps
  • Gates open each day at 08:30. Enter via Gate 3 behind the main grandstand or Gate 1 at the top of the circuit; all other gates will be closed.
  • 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 tier), 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!

May 23, 2018

Tickets – 2019 Spanish Grand Prix

Your guide to buying tickets and watching the action at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the 2019 Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix

May 6, 2018

Spanish Grand Prix quiz: test your F1 travel knowledge

How well do you know Barcelona and the Spanish Grand Prix? Test your skills in our new F1 travel quiz!

April 22, 2018

Trackside – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

Useful information to help you get the most out of your experience at Circuit de Catalunya during the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix.

March 1, 2018

Off-Track Activities – Spanish Grand Prix

Barcelona boasts world class art and cultural attractions, great shopping, buzzing nightlife and enough dining options to please every budget and palate.

January 25, 2018

Race Facts – Spanish Grand Prix

History, facts and background of the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona.

January 25, 2018

Travel Basics – Spanish Grand Prix

Useful travel information to help you plan your trip to the Spanish F1 Grand Prix in Barcelona.

January 12, 2018

Budget Planner – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

Plan the cost of your trip to the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona with our budget planner.

December 18, 2017

Getting There & Around – Spanish Grand Prix

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.

November 15, 2017

Accommodation – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

A selection of the best-rated accommodation in Barcelona for F1 fans going to the Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya.

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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 (48)

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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?

    • Editor says:

      Correct Phil. Gate 6 will not be open (it wasn’t last week). Head to Gate 3 behind the Main grandstand and you’ll be able to get in there.

  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?

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