Barcelona Hotels Articles

May 10, 2010

The Circuit de Catalunya Pride of Barcelona

Every year hundreds of thousands of motorsport enthusiasts descend on the sunny Circuit de Catalunya in Montmelo. Just half an hour from Barcelona, it is most famous for hosting both the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix amd the MotoGP Grand Prix. For many, these events can provide the perfect climax to a weekend of tapas and sangria in the vibrant Catalan capital.

Inaugurated in 1991 and with a capacity of 131,000 spectators the circuit is not generally viewed as the most exciting in the world in terms of racing and 2007 saw the introduction of a slow chicane in an attempt to increase the possibility of overtaking. However, the wonderful grandstand views offered to spectators combined with the clement, spring Mediterranean climate and the tremendous speeds reached by cars on the circuit’s long main straight have already made it one of the most popular stops in the Formula One calendar for fans and drivers alike. And with the recent successes of the Spanish driver Fernando Alonso attracting thousands of passionate fans from across the Iberian peninsula, the Grand Prix has also become famous for its electric atmosphere.

It is no surprise then, that a Grand Prix ticket dovetails so nicely with other tourist attractions on offer in the region. Cheap flights from all over Europe provide a convenient and economical option for travellers and transport links from Barcelona to the circuit are good, with regular train connections from the city centre and a special bus service operating on the day of the Grand Prix itself.

The fact that the circuit is characterised by both long, straight sections and a range of corners, makes it the preferred testing location for many Formula 1 teams. In recent years the circuit has also seen an increase in other commercial ventures, tapping into the burgeoning experience market and offering car afficionados from all over the world the opportunity to experience the Montmelo adrenaline rush themselves. It’s now possible to get behind the wheel of a variety of high speed vehicles, from Ferraris and Lamborghinis through to Formula Renault and, for those with deeper pockets, even Formula One cars.

As the now permanent home of the Spanish Grand Prix the Circuit de Catalunya is set to increase its fame and popularity over the coming years, and seems destined to attain an iconic status in the world of motorsport, in much the same way that the home of Barcelona F.C, the Camp Nou has in football.

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