Know Your F1 Circuit History & Stats: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – Kunal's F1 Blog

Know Your F1 Circuit History & Stats: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

Know Your F1 Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (courtesy: Circuit de Cat, Twitter)
‘Know Your F1 Circuit’ is a new series launched on my F1 blog. This posts under this series will be penned by Saumil Patel, an avid fan of the sport. You can follow the full series throughout the season by using the Know Your F1 Circuit’ tag. 
Know Your F1 Circuit: History

After an excruciating forty-six year wait the Catalonians finally seized the opportunity to bring back home the Grand Prix

Previously the last Grand Prix at Montjuïc in 1975 had nearly been abandoned by the drivers who were protesting the dismal track safety. Nonetheless after a lot of drama and arm twisting the race eventually took place only to end tragically, claiming five lives. The sixth casualty was the track, it was stricken off the F1 circuit list.

Circuit de Catalunya was conceived as part of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics development programme. Work commenced in 1989 and in 1991 the circuit was inaugurated with Spain’s national motorsport series for touring cars, (Campeonato de España de Turismos). A couple of weeks later, on the 29th of September 1991 the first Formula 1 race flagged off on a wet and extremely slippery track. So enthralling was the Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell head-to-head drag race down the straight that it most certainly would have warmed the cockles of the harshest critic’s heart.

From that race onwards the circuit has been a yearly fixture.

Circuit de Catalunya saw progressively hard times as the footfalls declined over the years. In 2013, out of sheer necessity to survive they struck a sponsorship deal with the Barcelona City Counsel after which the circuit was rechristened Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Over the years losses (estimated €51m) have been offset by public money granted by the Government of Catalonia and the Provincial Deputation of Barcelona.

Unfortunately, the Provincial Deputation of Barcelona terminated the grants after irregularities were detected during the recent audit adding to its financial distresses.

Know Your F1 Circuit: Details 

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is situated north of Barcelona, in the municipality of Montmeló, Catalonia, Spain.

The track was built as a multi-purpose track and has hosted many forms of racing disciplines. F1 and MotoGP are the crucial annual events.

Over the years the track has undergone a few changes to enhance driver safety. The last two notable changes were in 2018 when the track was resurfaced for better grip and in 2021, turn 10 was remodelled by increasing the diameter width making it gentler and easier to negotiate what was a tight left hander.

Length: 4.655 km (2.892 mi)

Turns: 16 (Right handers 9 + Left handers 7)

No of laps: 66

Accreditation: FIA Grade 1 License

Lap Record: 1:18.183 (2020, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG W11)

Stand Capacity: 140,700

(All data true till 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, 7-9 May)

Know Your F1 Circuit: Historic Moments

1991 – Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell front straight side-by-side. Mansell takes P1.

1994 – Michael Schumacher finishes P2 driving half the race with only fifth gear.

1996 – Michael Schumacher first win as a Ferrari driver in a rainstorm.

2006 – Alonso Fernando became the first Spanish Formula One driver to win at his home country’s circuit.

2012 – Pastor Maldonado’s first and only victory.

2016 – Max Verstappen won his first Grand Prix, youngest driver to ever win an F1 Grand Prix race.

Know Your F1 Circuit: Statistics

Drivers with most wins:

Michael Schumacher – 6 (1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)

Lewis Hamilton – 5 (2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)

Jackie Stewart – 3 (1969, 1970, 1971)

Alain Prost – 3 (1988, 1990, 1993)

Nigel Mansell – 3 (1987, 1991, 1992)

Mika Hakkinen – 3 (1998, 1999, 2000)

Teams with most wins:

Ferrari – 12 (1954, 1974, 1981, 1990, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2013)

McLaren – 8 (1975, 1976, 1988, 1989, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005)

Williams – 8 (1980, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2012)

Mercedes – 8 (1934, 1935, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)

Lotus – 7 (1967, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1986)

Bugatti – 3 (1926, 1928, 1929)

Red Bull – 3 (2010, 2011, 2016)

2021 Spanish Grand Prix: Mercedes’ Pit Stops, VER’s Errors: 5 Things To Watch For

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