A cursory glance at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Catalunya Circuit or the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (the official name since 2013), is one of top racing venues in Europe and the only one in the Formula 1 calendar that was used for the Olympic Games.
Thrill of an all-rounder circuit
This circuit with the FIA Grade 1 license, located some 30 km north of Barcelona near the town of Montmelo, is one of the best-balanced tracks in the world as it has both long speed straights and various corners which are more or less demanding. With a variety of elevation changes, the clockwise-ran track is 4.655 m long and has 16 turns while the stands capacity is 140.700. The foundation stone was laid in February of 1989, and the first event was hosted in September of 1991 while the first Spanish Grand Prix at Catalunya Circuit was held later that month.
Not to be confused with the Montjuic circuit
What you might not know is the fact that Catalunya Circuit is the second racing venue near Barcelona. The Montjuic circuit, located within the city, is the older venue and it hosted Spanish Grand Prix on four occasions in the late 1960s and early 1970s. By many, the Montjuic circuit is considered as one of the tracks which were best suited for F1 races.
In 1992, Barcelona hosted the Summer Olympic Games and Catalunya Circuit was used as the start/finish point for the cycling road team time trial race. Of course, motorsports events were, and still are, the most important happenings at the circuit, but being used for the world’s biggest sports event gives it character and adds a certain pride to it.
Experience of hard overtaking
Over the years, Catalunya Circuit went through some changes and modifications, but the track itself remained almost the same and is still very hard for overtaking. Probably the best spot for that is at the turn 1. One of the factors which make the racing at Catalunya Circuit a bit tricky is the wind. Its direction and strength sometimes change rapidly and that can make the race set-up preparations difficult for the teams.
A home of the Spanish Grand Prix
Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix is definitely the main event at Catalunya Circuit, but MotoGP race is no less popular among local fans. The FIA World Rallycross Championship round debuted at this circuit in 2015, using part of the track and part of the gravel and dirt track inside the racing track. Catalunya Circuit also hosted and still does various national and international racing series events and, thanks to the pleasant weather, it’s very popular among the teams as a destination for the winter tests.
Catalunya Circuit lap record time is 1:21.670, and it was set by Kimi Raikkonen driving a Ferrari. Luckily, the track doesn’t have a history of hard accidents or fatal crashes.
Ease of access
Unlike the track, other facilities were constantly improved and modernized. Spectators have excellent conditions to watch most of the action from the stands, but also to entertain or to refresh in the nearby cafes and restaurants. Getting there is easy – two airports are located near Circuit de Catalunya – Barcelona (40 km) and Girona (70 km). The Circuit is located between two major communication roads, C-17, and AP-7, and it is easy to find the circuit if you are coming by car. Train and bus connections are also available from Barcelona and nearby towns.
Video : F1 lap around Catalunya Circuit Barcelona
Accomodation and hospitality
Since Barcelona is already one of the most popular tourist destinations, those that are interested to watch racing at the Circuit should not have a problem to find accommodation. Barcelona has plenty of various hotels and other types of accommodation, but nearby towns like Montmeló, Granollers, and Girona, among others, also have quality lodging, depending on the possibilities and expectations.
Address: Camino Mas Moreneta, 08160 Montmeló, Barcelona, Spain
Phone: +34 935 71 97 00
Official website: wwwcircuitcat.com