Latest news and info on the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, including race information and places to stay.
Fernando Alonso’s success helped boost interest in F1 from Spain, leading to two races in the country for a spell. The Spanish Grand Prix takes place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmelo, and is a frequent destination as it is also often used for pre-season testing. The track is popular with the teams due to its all-round test of a car, with a long pit straight; quick changes of direction at Turns 1 and 2; fast sweeping corners such as the long Turn 3 and testing Turn 9; while there are also more technical, slow-speed sections towards the end of the lap including a chicane before the final corner.
While the circuit itself is in Montmelo, as the name suggests the race offers the perfect opportunity to visit Barcelona. Montmelo is 30km outside the Catalan city, and easily accessible by train from the centre.
Barcelona is one of Europe’s most vibrant cities, with a mix of modern architecture and the Gaudi influence. The Gothic Quarter is packed full of tight streets, old buildings, bars and restaurants, and spills out on to the iconic Las Ramblas. At the top of Las Ramblas is Placa Catalunya, and north of there you’ll find Gaudi’s still under construction Sagrada Familia. The spectacular basilica is scheduled for completion in 2026. Other Guadi attractions to visit include the Park Guell, Palau Guell and Casa Mila.
Sports fans can take a tour of Camp Nou - the home of Barcelona FC - and visit the old Olympic Stadium. While the race is currently in Montmelo, the Spanish Grand Prix was previously held on the Montjuic street circuit in 1969, 1971, 1973 and 1975, and you can retrace the track around Montjuic mountain, in the Olympic area of the city.
Another of Barcelona’s advantages is its Mediterranean coast location, with a city break being able to be combined with time on Barceloneta beach. The area between the beach and port has also undergone a fairly recent regeneration, offering a number of bars, restaurants and vibrant nightlife.
For those willing to venture slightly outside the city, the Tibidabo mountain offers spectacular views over Barcelona and the surrounding area. Located to the north west of the city, the Sagrat Cor church sits on top of the mountain, while there is also an amusement park.
HOW TO GET THERE
For those flying to Spain, Barcelona-El Prat airport offers frequent flights and easy access into the city using public transport, being served by the L9 Metro line. Frequent trains also run to the city courtesy of the R2 line, which passes through the major Barcelona interchanges of Saints Estacio and Catalunya before continuing all the way to Montmelo itself. Another option is to use nearby Girona airport, less than an hour up the coast by car.
Aside from using a hire car, the track can be accessed thanks to direct trains to Montmelo station from the centre of Barcelona. The circuit is a 30-minute walk from the train station, with the first part of the walk in the town itself lined with stalls selling F1 memorabilia.