The Grand Prix circus heads to Europe this weekend
The huge Formula 1 Grand Prix circus arrives in Europe this coming weekend, with the ever-popular Spanish Grand Prix being the first of the European races. The Spanish Grand Prix (otherwise known as the Gran Premio de España or in Catalan as the Gran Premi d’Espanya) will be staged at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya which lies 12 miles north-east of Barcelona city centre near the small town of Montmelo.
The Spanish Grand Prix is one of the oldest car races in the world, having celebrated its centenary in 2013. The Spanish Civil War brought an end to racing for many years but the race was successfully revived in 1967 and since then has been a regular part of the Formula One World Championship at a variety of venues.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was built with financial help from the Spanish government. The first race took place in 1991 and it has been held here every year since then, usually in late April or early May. From 2013, the Spanish Grand Prix was supposed to alternate every year between Catalunya and the Valencia Street Circuit but Valencia dropped out for financial reasons and Catalunya remained the sole host of the Grand Prix which has grown in popularity ever since. Much of the credit for the high attendances amongst Spanish racing fans can be put down to the success of Spaniard Fernando Alonso who finished second in 2003 and 2005 before taking victory from pole in 2006. He also had two further second places in 2010 and 2012.
Practice for the race takes place on Friday 8th May, with Qualifying on Saturday 9th and the race itself on Sunday 10th May. Many fans like to take the opportunity of enjoying a weekend break , basing themselves in the centre of Barcelona and travelling out to the Grand Prix circuit to watch the race, the qualifying and possibly even the practice as well. The train journey from Barcelona Sants to Montmelo station takes just half an hour and costs only €2.50 for a single journey. A shuttle bus ride from Montmelo station to the face circuit completes the journey. Alternatively, a bus service operates direct from Barcelona Nord station to the circuit and takes about 45 minutes.
The Spanish are always extremely passionate about Formula 1 so there’s bound to be a lively atmosphere in and around the track as well throughout the city of Barcelona. As ever, the race will attract fans and celebrities from all over the globe who come to enjoy some exciting racing and all the other attractions the city of Barcelona has to offer.