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Circuit de Catalunya



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Circuit de Catalunya

Circuit de Catalunya
Mas "La Moreneta"
PD 27
08160 Montmelo

Tel: (34) 93 5719700

Fax: (34) 93 5722772

Official website:



4.665km (2.899miles)

Race laps:


2016 winner:

Max Verstappen (Red Bull)



First GP:


Lap record:

1:21.670 (Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 2008)


Permanent Circuit

Total races:



The Circuit de Catalunya was built in 1991 and hosted its first Grand Prix that same year - it was won by Nigel Mansell. Construction coincided with the Olympic Games scheduled to take place in 1992 when the circuit acted as the start and finish for the road team time trial cycling event.

Because so much testing is done at the circuit, drivers, engineers and mechanics are extremely familiar with it, consequently this has led to criticism that this reduces the amount of on-track action.

When first used, overtaking was frequent as cars could follow closely through the last two corners and slipstream down the long pit straight. As aerodynamic balance became more critical, this drastically decreased as cars were unable to follow each other through the fast final corner due to turbulence. Consequently, in 2007 the first of the two final corners was replaced with a slow chicane in an effort to improve overtaking, however, it has yet to have a significant effect.

The circuit has been the site of some memorable moments. In 1991, Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell raced down the entire pit straight side-by-side while duelling for second place, with Mansell eventually taking the position and ultimately the race itself. In 1994, Michael Schumacher managed to finish in second place despite driving over half the race with only fifth gear. In 1996, the German took his first win as a Ferrari driver, after a dominant performance during a torrential rainstorm.

he 1999 race was notable as there was only one reported overtaking move during the entire Grand Prix. In 2001, Mika Hakkinen suffered a clutch failure on the last lap whilst leading, thereby handing the win to Schumacher. At the 2006 event, Fernando Alonso became the first Spanish Formula One driver to win at his home country's track.

The wind direction at the circuit can change drastically during the course of the day, a significant factor given the importance of aerodynamics to modern Formula One cars. Consequently, it is hard to find a good set-up since cars can have massive aerodynamic drag and understeer on one part of the circuit in the morning, but suffer oversteer at the same part of the circuit in the afternoon. A given tyre compound can work well when tested, but not so well a couple of months later. These changeable conditions can make for unexpected performances from some teams during races.

The Circuit de Catalunya plays host to many other racing series, including MotoGP. However, the chicane which was put in the penultimate turn for F1 does not play a part in the track layout for Moto GP.

Fast Facts - Provided by the FIA

This is the 26th consecutive running of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The circuit first held the race in 1991 when newly constructed. It has been the home of the Spanish Grand Prix ever since.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is the fifth track to host the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix and the third located in or around the city of Barcelona, continuing a tradition started with the Pedralbes street circuit (1951, 1954), and Montjuïc (1969, 1971, 1973, 1975). The race has also been held at the Circuito del Jarama, near Madrid (1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976-1981), and the Circuito de Jerez (1986-1990) in Andalusia.

The advantage of starting on the front row is accentuated at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Only twice has the winner come from further back: Michael Schumacher in 1996 from third, for Ferrari, and Fernando Alonso in 2013, from fifth, also for Ferrari. The race has otherwise been won from P2 four times and from pole on 19 occasions.

Ferrari are the most successful team in Spain with a dozen victories, eight of which have come at the Circuit de Catalunya. Williams are the next most successful team at this venue with six victories, the most recent being Pastor Maldonado's triumph in 2012. Despite strong form in the last few years it remains Williams' only victory of the last decade.

Nico Rosberg has a chance this weekend to equal the record of five consecutive grand prix victories from the start of the season. The record is currently shared by Nigel Mansell (1992, South Africa to San Marino) and Michael Schumacher (2004, Australia to Spain).

Victory for Mercedes would be the team's 11th consecutive win. That would equal the all-time record, currently held by McLaren, who won 11-in-a-row in 1988. It would also be Mercedes' 50th in F1. It would put them fifth-equal with Red Bull in the all-time list of victorious constructors (though having started only two-thirds as many races as their rival).

Reinforcing Catalunya's reputation as a bellwether circuit, the team that wins here has gone on to be Constructors' Champions 18 times (72 per cent).

As Formula One's most used test track, unsurprisingly many of the drivers racing this weekend have racked-up considerable mileage here. Jenson Button leads the way. He has spent 124 days testing on this circuit, accumulating and impressive 8,160 laps for 38,123km. At the other end of the scale, Rio Haryanto has just 1,080km of testing here.

Max Verstappen this weekend becomes the ninth driver to race for Red Bull Racing. His predecessors over the team's dozen seasons are: David Coulthard, Christian Klein, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Robert Doornbos, Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat. Kvyat, returning to Toro Rosso, is one of four drivers on the grid racing a second stint with a team for whom they have raced previously, the others being Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Hulkenberg at Force India and Alonso at McLaren.

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