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.

Where & when?

  • Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona 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



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.

The following information is not yet confirmed for 2018 pre-season testing (but did apply in 2017). 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. We’ve recently updated our guide on buying tickets to the Spanish Grand Prix, which now includes videos and pictures showing you the views from all the grandstands and general admission areas at Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona. You can save 10% when buying tickets before February 28, 2018.


Tickets are not yet on sale for 2018. 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. The tour can be booked at the gate when you arrive. There are three daily tours each day of the testing; at 10:00, 12:00 and 15:00. The tour lasts around 75 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 (enter and buy tickets at gate 3 nearby). Tickets are limited and do sell out quickly.


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….!


  • Click here for circuit access maps
  • 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: F, G, H, and I
  • 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!

November 28, 2017

Tickets – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

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

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.

February 19, 2017

Race Facts – Spanish Grand Prix

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

February 18, 2017

Travel Basics – Spanish Grand Prix

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

February 18, 2017

Budget Planner – 2017 Spanish Grand Prix

Read our budget planner to help plan the cost of your trip to the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona

February 9, 2017

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.

December 21, 2016

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 12, 2016

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.

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of 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 (25)

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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.

  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?


  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

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