The Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona has been on the calendar since 1991 and gives the strongest indicator of which team has the best car, given its characteristics which test all aspects of a car’s performance, especially downforce
. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was built in 1991 and should not be confused with the Montjuïc circuit, which hosted the Spanish Grand Prix four times between 1969 and 1975 and, unlike the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, is actually located within the city of Barcelona The combination of slow, medium and fast corners makes it the ultimate test venue for the sport.. The passionate Spanish fans are interested in only one man, Fernando Alonso, who took an emotional victory in the 2013 event
. Pastor Maldonado was the surprise winner a year earlier, holding off Alonso to take a long overdue win for Williams. Because so much testing is done at this circuit, Formula One drivers and mechanics are extremely familiar with it. When first used, overtaking was frequent as cars could follow closely through the last two corners and slipstream down the long straight. As aerodynamic balance became more critical, this overtaking method drastically decreased as the cars were unable to follow each other through the fast final corner due to turbulence created by the leading car.
The Barcelona GP will be staged at the Catalunya Circuit which is 12 miles (20km) North East of Barcelona city centre. It is situated in a small town called Montmelo. Practice and qualifying sessions will take place on the Friday 09 May 2014 – Saturday 10 May 2014 before the big race on Sunday 11 May 2014. You can therefore make a weekend of the event and buy a 3 day pass.
You can catch the train from either Barcelona Sants, Passeig de Gràcia or Clot rail stations in Barcelona center. You will then need to get off at Montmelo station which is the nearest stop to the Catalunya F1 race circuit.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya also plays host to many other racing series, including Moto GP. The chicane which was put in the penultimate turn for Formula 1 does not play a part in the track layout for Moto GP, and there are at least five points on the track (turns 1,2,4,10,14) where riders are known to overtake. As in F1, turn one is arguably the most popular place for overtaking. The circuit is not known to produce copious amounts of overtaking, despite the long straights.
Sources: Circuit the Catalunya, F1, UBS