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To circuits
esp

Spanish GP

Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
  • FP1 20 May 2022 -
  • FP2 20 May 2022 -
  • FP3 21 May 2022 -
  • Quali 21 May 2022 -
  • Race 22 May 2022 -

Stats

First held 1991
Laps 66
Circuit length 4.655 kilometer
Fastest lap 1:15.584 (2020)
Winner 2020 Lewis Hamilton
Second in 2020 Max Verstappen
Third in 2020 Valtteri Bottas

Winners

Winner 2020 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2019 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2018 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2017 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2016 Max Verstappen

The Spanish Grand Prix, which is run on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, is poised to be the fourth round of the 2021 F1 calendar. The circuit is a popular testing venue for both drivers and teams due to its mild weather and its mix of long start-finish straight and challenging mix of corners.

F1 Spanish Grand Prix

One of the oldest races in the world, the Spanish GP 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. After featuring 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 GP dates back to 1913 and was officially known as the RACE Grand Prix. Though the event didn't follow a Grand Prix formula and was instead a race for touring cars. The event took place at Huadarrama, on the road to Valldolid 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 permeant track at Sitges. The site held the first race to officially carry the Spanish GP 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 due to a variety of 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 GP 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 returning the following year, however the 1955 event wasn't run 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 Montijuic Street Circuit in Barcelona in an attempt to put Spain back on the international motor racing scene. A non-championship GP was run in 1967 at jarama and won by Jim Clark.

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

Ferrari's Gilles Villeneuve won the 1981 race - his last - in what many consider a tactical masterclass as he held off four-fast charging cars with better handling, as the top five finished within 1.24 seconds of each other. Nevertheless the race 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 GP 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 develop the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmelo. The venue has hosted the Spanish GP ever since and is usually run in late April or early 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 helped boost interest in the race, 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, however they 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 GP six times, with the Briton winning five in a row from 2017 to 2021. Behind them Louis Chiron, Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Mika Hakkinen all took the chequered flag on there occasions, though the Monegasque'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 wins with Lotus next on seven.

The Spanish Grand Prix 2020

Conducting the sixth round of the revamped 2020 Formula 1 season, the Spanish Grand Prix was won by Lewis Hamilton, who made it lights to flag affair after securing pole position during the weekend’s qualifying session, Hamilton would go on to lap everyone bar the other two podium finishers during the race.

Max Verstappen was able to leapfrog Valtteri Bottas into second, with the Finn taking third and the fastest lap. Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez of Racing Point would round out the top five.

When is the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix on the F1 calendar?

The Spanish Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on the weekend of May 7-9 and is provisionally set to be the fourth race of the Formula 1 season. The first two free practice sessions will take place on May 7, with qualifying on Saturday, May 8 at 15:00 CET.

What time does the Spanish Grand Prix start?

The Spanish Grand Prix starts on Sunday, May 9 at 15:00 CET. The race can be followed live on RacingNews365’s blog and watched on F1 TV.

F1 Spanish GP 2021 Schedule

Session Date Time (UK)
Free Practice 1 Friday 7 May 10:00 - 11:00
Free Practice 2 Friday 7 May 14:00 - 15:00
Free Practice 3 Saturday 8 May 11:00 - 12:00
Qualifying Saturday 8 May 14:00 - 15:00
Race Sunday 9 May 14:00
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