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04 Jun
esp

Spanish GP

Circuit de Catalunya
  • Free practice 1 FP1 02 Jun 2023 -
  • Free practice 2 FP2 02 Jun 2023 -
  • Free practice 3 FP3 03 Jun 2023 -
  • Qualification Quali 03 Jun 2023 -
  • Race Race 04 Jun 2023 -

Stats

First held 1991
Laps 66
Circuit length 4.675 kilometres
Lap record 1:18.149 (2021)
Winner 2022 Max Verstappen
Second in 2022 Sergio Perez
Third in 2022 George Russell

Winners

Winner 2022 Max Verstappen
Winner 2021 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2020 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2019 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2018 Lewis Hamilton

The Spanish Grand Prix, which is run on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, is poised to be the eighth round on the 2023 F1 calendar. The circuit is a popular testing venue for both drivers and teams, due to its mild weather as well as its mixture of long start-finish straights and challenging corners.

F1 Spanish Grand Prix 2023

One of the oldest races in the world, the Spanish Grand Prix celebrated its centenary year in 2013.

Originally run as a production car race, the event was interrupted by the First World War and had to wait a decade for its second running. The event featured in the World Manufacturers' Championship and the European Championship in 1927 and 1935 respectively before the Spanish Civil War ended racing in the country.

The Spanish GP returned in 1967 and has been a fixture on the F1 calendar since 1968, taking place at various venues.

History

The first Spanish Grand Prix dates back to 1913 and was officially known as the RACE Grand Prix, though the event didn't follow a Grand Prix formula and instead featured touring cars. This took place at Huadarrama, on the road to Valladolid near Madrid.

While there were motor racing events prior to that, the enthusiasm for the sport in the country eventually led to the building of a permanent track in the town of Sitges. The site held the first race to officially carry the Spanish Grand Prix designation in 1923, and was won by Albert Divo in a Sunbeam.

The track suffered through financial problems following the event, forcing organisers to move to the Circuit Lasarte near Bilbao. The race wasn't held for several years for various reasons, but returned in 1933, only to be stopped again in 1935 due to the Spanish Civil War. Racing finally returned to Spain in 1946 with the running of the Penya Rhin Grand Prix, held at the Pedralbes Street Circuit in Barcelona.

F1 and the Spanish GP

Spain returned to the international calendar in 1951, with F1 racing in the streets of Pedralbes. Juan Manuel Fangio won his first World Championship at the event in an Alfa Romeo.

Financial issues saw the race cancelled in 1952 and 1953 before it resumed in the following year. However, the 1955 event wasn't held following the terrible accident at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that killed 80 people. As a result, the race was cancelled for two years, while the street circuit at Pedralbes was never used again.

A new permanent circuit at Jarama was commissioned in the 1960s, along with a refurbished Montjuic Street Circuit in Barcelona, in an attempt to put Spain back on the international motor racing scene. A non-championship Grand Prix was run in 1967 at Jarama and won by Jim Clark.

Jarama hosted the 1968 Spanish Grand Prix, with Montjuic doing so the following year as organisers planned to alternate between the two venues. However, tragedy struck at Montjuic in 1975 when four spectators were killed after being hit by the crashing Hill GH1 of Rolf Stommelen. Jochen Mass later won the event. The race was solely held at Jarama until 1981 as a result.

Ferrari's Gilles Villeneuve won the 1981 race – marking his last victory – in what many consider a tactical masterclass, as he held off four fast-charging cars with better handling. The top five finished within 1.24 seconds of each other. Nevertheless, the event was dropped from the calendar in 1982.

Jerez and Catalunya

Racing returned to Spain at the Circuit Permanent de Jerez in time for the 1986 championship, with Ayrton Senna winning the race by 0.014 seconds over Nigel Mansell. The 1990 event was the last Spanish Grand Prix held at Jerez, and saw Martin Donnelly ejected from his Lotus after crashing at high speed. While the Briton survived, he never raced in F1 again.

Jerez's remote location failed to attract large crowds, and as a result the Spanish government helped to develop the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmelo for the 1991 campaign. The venue has hosted the Spanish Grand Prix ever since, and is usually run in April or May.

Williams won the first four races held at the track, with Michael Schumacher ending that run in 1995. The German's win, his first for Ferrari in torrential rain, stands out as one of his finest drives.

Fernando Alonso's success in the 2000s helped to boost interest in the race, with the Spaniard winning the event from pole in 2006. He took the chequered flag again in 2013.

There were plans to alternate the Spanish GP between Catalunya and the Valencia Street Circuit, starting in 2013, but these fell through after Valencia dropped out due to financial reasons.

Most successful F1 drivers and teams

Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton have both won the Spanish Grand Prix six times, with the Briton winning five in a row from 2017 to 2021. Meanwhile, Louis Chiron, Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Mika Hakkinen all took the chequered flag on three occasions, though Chiron's wins came in non-F1 World Championship events.

As for constructors, Ferrari lead the way with 12 wins ahead of Mercedes on nine. McLaren and Williams both have eight victories, with Lotus next on seven.

The 2022 Spanish Grand Prix

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya played host to the sixth round of the 2022 Formula 1 season, with Charles Leclerc arriving into the weekend leading the World Championship from Max Verstappen, who memorably claimed his first F1 victory in Spain back in 2016.

Leclerc took pole position and built a strong lead during the early stages of the race. However, mechanical issues forced the Monegasque to retire his car on Lap 27.

Verstappen went on to take the win and with it became the World Championship leader, while Red Bull also moved themselves ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors' standings.

Sergio Perez finished in second, with the Mercedes of George Russell in third.

When is the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix on the F1 calendar?

The Spanish Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on the weekend of 2-4 June, and is set to be the eighth race of the Formula 1 season. The first two free practice sessions will take place on 2 June, with qualifying on Saturday 3 June at 15:00 BST.

What time does the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix start?

The Spanish Grand Prix starts on Sunday 4 June at 14:00 BST. The race can be followed live on RacingNews365's blog.

Timetable Spanish GP

Session Date Time
Free practice 1 Friday 2 June -
Free practice 2 Friday 2 June -
Free practice 3 Saturday 3 June -
Qualification Saturday 3 June -
Race Sunday 4 June -

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