Spanish Grand Prix Background and history
The Spanish Grand Prix has been in operation long before Formula One even began. The first ever race was back in 1913, won by Carlos Salamance in a Rolls Royce. However, the Spanish GP only found a home in Catalunya from 1991 onwards.
|Nigel Mansell||1991, 1992|
|Michael Schumacher||1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004|
|Mika Hakkinen||1998, 1999, 2000|
|Kimi Raikkonen||2005, 2008|
|Fernando Alonso||2005, 2013|
|Lewis Hamilton||2014, 2017, 2018|
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is situated in Montmelo. It is characterised by long straights and a decent mix of corners. The track’s seating capacity stands at 140,700 and it has an FIA Grade 1 license.
The circuit length is 4.655 km and the race is normally 66 laps long. This covers a distance of 307.104 km at an average time of 1:35:29.972.
Schedule and Timetable
The Spanish Grand Prix normally heralds the start of the European leg of the Formula One calendar. It has been the 5th round of the F1 calendar for a while and the Spanish Grand Prix timetable begins at around May. Naturally, as with all F1 races, the weekend kicks off with practice at 11AM local time and again at 1PM local time on Friday.
On Saturday, Practice 3 starts at 12PM local time and the Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying starts at 3PM local time. Finally, the race on Sunday begins at 3:10PM Circuit Time. From this season onwards, races usually begin 10 minutes late to cater to sponsors.
What to Look out for (Internal link driver and team tags)
Given their recent form, and four back-to-back 1-2 finishes, Mercedes will be the team to beat. Granted, when testing was held earlier this year, Ferrari had the upper hand. However, comparing testing and the actual season is like comparing a grain of sand to a skyscraper.
With two wins each, there is nothing to choose between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. However, Ferrari have brought in some major updates and Sebastian Vettel and Charles LeClerc will be hoping to wrest back the power. Also, there is the lingering threat of Max Verstappen waiting to pounce if things go awry for his rivals.
Of course, the main straight is a prime overtaking spot as it is a kilometre long and a DRS zone. So, there are plenty of slipstreaming opportunities. Just at the end of the straight is a right-left sequence, which can provide decent action.
This is followed by a long sweeping right hander, and another chance to pounce. The next chance to overtake is at Turn 5 where drivers head downhill and can dive down the inside.
Another excellent overtaking hotspot is at the end of the back straight, another DRS zone. Finally, there is the 200kph final corner, where many a race has been won or lost.
Spanish Grand Prix tickets are naturally, quite expensive. The cheapest tickets cost 56$ for just one day. The most expensive tickets cost nearly 500$, which is for the main grandstand for Friday to Sunday. However, for the full experience at the Barcelona Grand Prix 2019, at the Paddock club, the most expensive ticket will be nearly 5,300$.