From Pedralbes to Catalunya – A short history of the 5 venues to have hosted the Spanish Grand Prix

Spain is one of Formula 1’s most storied Grands Prix, having first been held in 1951 – with 5 totally different venues having performed host to the occasion. Ahead of this weekend’s race at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, right here’s a quick history of all 5 Spanish Grand Prix venues.

1. Pedralbes – 1951, 1954

This Barcelona road circuit held the Spanish Grand Prix twice, as the final race of the 1951 and 1954 World Championships – Juan Manuel Fangio having gained the former earlier than Mike Hawthorn triumphed in the latter.

TREMAYNE: The greatest F1 title battles of all time…

This fast however prolonged 3.9-mile circuit comprised six corners and a whopping 1.2-mile-long straight, the best automobiles taking simply over 2m 20s to full a race lap. Running alongside half of the huge Avenida Diagonal, the circuit minimize previous the former Pedralbes royal palace after which the Parc de Cervantes – round which the Turn 1 hairpin looped.

After the lethal 1955 Le Mans 24 Hours catastrophe, this circuit ceased to exist – and Spain would have to wait greater than a decade for its subsequent World Championship Grand Prix…

Fans line Pedralbes in 1954 as Hans Hermann shoots by in a Mercedes W196

2. Jarama – 1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976-79, 1981

North of Madrid sits Jarama, this winding everlasting circuit having opened in 1967. Designed by John Hugenholtz (different works together with Suzuka, Zolder, Nivelles and Zandvoort) Jarama had 16 corners and clocked in at simply over two miles when it hosted F1 rounds. The twisting nature of this circuit wasn’t the solely problem; drivers had to take care of banked corners and elevation adjustments all through.

Graham Hill gained the first Jarama-held Spanish GP from sixth in his Lotus 49 on the manner to the title, Jackie Stewart – in a 1970 Spanish GP marred by a fiery crash – and Emerson Fittipaldi profitable the subsequent two iterations.

Given this circuit’s tight structure, it was maybe inevitable that the subsequent 4 Grands Prix could be gained from pole place: Niki Lauda (1974 for his maiden win), James Hunt (1976) then Mario Andretti (1977-78) profitable out earlier than Patrick Depailler bucked the development… from P2 on the grid.

Gilles Villeneuve produced a basic in 1981 to change into the final F1 winner at Jarama, attaining his triumph from seventh on the grid – that drive regarded as one of the best ever.

Gilles Villeneuve wins the 1981 Spanish Grand Prix

3. Montjuic Park – 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975

This gorgeous circuit surrounding Barcelona’s stunning Montjuic Park shared internet hosting duties with Madrid’s Jarama – till a deadly 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.

Half high-speed problem, half low-speed thriller, Montjuic is usually touted as one of F1’s biggest former venues. Now a 2.4-mile highway winding previous parks, museums and the Olympic Park, the web site will all the time be an emblem of triumph (Lella Lombardi having change into the first girl to rating F1 factors there) and tragedy.

READ MORE: Trailblazing racer Lella Lombardi remembered, 30 years on from her death

Jackie Stewart’s wins in 1969 and ’71 had been adopted by Fittipaldi’s 1973 win, however drivers would voice considerations over security all through. In 1975, these considerations had been realised when Rolf Stommelen’s automobile flew right into a crowd and killed 4 individuals – injuring the driver as effectively.

That could be Montjuic’s final Grand Prix.


Jochen Rindt leads the area in the 1969 Spanish Grand Prix, huge wings threatening to trim the bushes round Montjuic Park

4. Jerez – 1986-90

Perhaps finest recognized for the title-deciding 1997 European Grand Prix during which Michael Schumacher collided with Jacques Villeneuve, Jerez additionally hosted a quintet of Spanish Grands Prix after building was accomplished in 1985.

Of these races on the clockwise circuit that consisted of 13 corners, Ayrton Senna gained the nailbiting 1986 debut by 0.014s and the 1989 race; Nigel Mansell gained in 1987; and Alain Prost in 1988 and ’90 – Martin Donnelly struggling horrific accidents in qualifying for the remaining Spanish GP at Jerez.

Formula 1 did return to Jerez after the 1997 European Grand Prix for greater than 80 pre- and in-season take a look at days between 1999 and 2015. The 2.7-mile circuit nonetheless hosts MotoGP, single-seater and touring automobile races.

Ayrton Senna wins the 1986 Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez

5. Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – 1991-present

Only three F1 circuits on the 2022 calendar – Monza, Hungaroring and Silverstone – have hosted extra consecutive Grands Prix than the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Opened in 1991, this monitor hosted an excellent duel between Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell in its maiden Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher additionally clinched his first Ferrari win right here in the wet in 1996 earlier than snatching victory off Mika Hakkinen in 2001. Fernando Alonso made history for Renault by profitable his house Grand Prix in 2006, Pastor Maldonado producing a shock win for Williams six years later – earlier than Alonso took his remaining victory to date in 2013.


And, of course, Max Verstappen opened his account right here in 2016.

With a combination of medium and high-speed corners, Barcelona’s 2.9-mile venue can be seen as a invaluable testing floor – and has hosted greater than 120 days of testing from 1999 to the current.

This 12 months’s Grand Prix sees one other Spaniard, Carlos Sainz, vying for a win in entrance of his house crowd.

Fernando Alonso’s final F1 race win

Related Posts