Watch Formula 1 live in Spain

Formula 1 in Spain – Where to Go & How to Watch

Formula 1 is one of the most popular sports worldwide. The Spanish race at Circuit de Catalunya is one of the highlights on the calendar, and a lot of people go to Spain to watch the race.

In this article, you get some basic information about Formula 1 in Spain, and how to watch it – at the track, on tv, and everything else related to F1.

The Spanish Grand Prix

Watch Formula 1 live in Spain

The Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix is held year at Circuit de Catalunya. The track is located just a bit outside of Barcelona, in the town of Montmeló.

Usually, the race takes place in May. It is often the first European race of the calendar year, and it is the venue where the team brings the first major upgrades to their cars.

Circuit de Catalunya is a high-downforce track, although with a long main straight. Michael Schumacher has the record for most wins (6) and Ferrari is the most successful team with 12 victories. The lap record is held by Daniel Ricciardo who drove a 1:18.441 for Red Bull Racing in 2018.

Previously, the Spanish Grand Prix was to be found at other tracks, such as Jerez and Jarama.

Tickets for Circuit de Catalunya

If you want tickets for the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix, you need to book them in advance. They can be a bit expensive, although prices vary, depending on where you want to sit, and how many days you want to go there.

We recommend getting a full weekend ticket at the main grandstand. It should usually cost around 250 euros per person for this ticket. However, there are often further costs related to the experience, such as transport to and from the track, along with a hotel room, food and such things.

If you’re on a budget, it’s possible to see the Spanish Grand Prix for around 350 euros. Mid-range, what the average visitor spends, is often around 700 euros per person for the trip. And finally, a high-end budget for the F1 race will come to several thousand (staying at a luxury hotel, having access to the pit lane, etc.).

How to get from Barcelona to Circuit de Catalunya

The best option is to get a hotel that is already very close to the track. However, many visitors like to stay in Barcelona and go to the circuit from there, and that makes perfect sense as well.

If you go by car (your own car, or a rented car), follow the C-17 road or the AP-7 highway. Expect to pay for parking when you arrive close to the track.

You can also take the Renfe Cercanías. Line R2 goes from Barcelona to the track, so get off at Montmeló. If you’re arriving from Girona, and not from Barcelona, you can instead take the R11 train, also a part of the Renfe Cercanías network.

Several bus lines also drive very near to the track facilities. Take either one of these buses:

  • Line 370
  • Line 375
  • Line 416

Line 370 is arguably best, as it has a stop right by the track. If you take one of the other buses, expect to walk a little after getting off.

Watch Formula 1 testing in Spain

Aside from having one yearly race, there are also other Formula 1 activities in Spain.

Winter testing is usually held at Circuit de Catalunya, at least for some of the days.

There are plenty of reasons to watch Formula 1 winter testing in Spain. Tickets are cheaper than a race, you have more access, and you will be able to see the new cars before the season actually takes off.

Winter testing is in the second part of February.

You need to buy tickets, but it’s pretty cheap. For 100 euros you can get access to one full day of testing, including a visit in the pitlane. 100 euros sound like a lot, but unlike a 1,5-hour race, testing is for the full day.

Spanish history in Formula 1

Even though Spain has been a long-time venue in Formula 1, the country never had a lot of success in the sport before the arrival of Fernando Alonso.

Alonso, born in Asturias, debuted in 2001 for the Italian Minardi-team. He was later signed by Renault, for whom he took his first race victory in 2003, and his first world championship in 2005. He followed that up with a second title in 2006.

After a change to McLaren, Alonso missed out on the 2007 title by just one point.

Between 2010 and 2014, Fernando Alonso was the main driver of Ferrari and had several legendary performances – particularly in the 2012 season. He never won a title for Ferrari, but he took several spectacular Grand Prix victories. He finished second in the championship in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

This was followed up by a disappointing shift back to the McLaren team. Due to a weak car, Alonso never made the podium again and made his retirement prior to the 2019 season.

The best Spanish driver currently in F1 is Carlos Sainz Jr.

Sainz matched the performance of highly rated Max Verstappen during their time at Toro Rosso. He later went to Renault, and from 2019 and onwards he is replacing Fernando Alonso at the McLaren team.

Watch Formula 1 on TV in Spain

It’s difficult to watch Formula 1 on TV in Spain since no regular channels show it.

If you live in Spain, you have to sign up for a special Movistar package to be able to watch the races live. It’s pretty expensive, but it is the only option at the moment.

F1 TV Pro, which you can use to watch Formula 1 in many other countries, is not currently available in Spain. But perhaps there will be a solid internet subscription service in the future.

Sports bars with Formula 1 in Spain

So, since most people will not be able to watch Formula 1 from their own TV, where do you go to watch it? The obvious answer is in sports bars and restaurants!

In Madrid, you can watch F1 at the James Joyce Pub, close to the Retiro Park.

Carl’s Jr., a popular fast food chain, have a place in the middle of Gran Vía in Madrid where they usually also show motorsports, including Formula 1.

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