The Spanish Grand Prix (Spanish: Gran Premio de España, Catalan: Gran Premi d'Espanya) is a Formula One motor racing event currently held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The race is one of the oldest in the world still contested, celebrating its centenary in 2013. The race had modest beginnings as a production car race. Interrupted by the First World War, the race waited a decade for its second running before becoming a staple of the European calendar. In 1927 it was part of the World Manufacturers' Championship; it was promoted to the European Championship in 1935 before the Spanish Civil War brought an end to racing. The race was successfully revived in 1967 and has been a regular part of the Formula One World Championship since 1968 (except 1982–1985) at a variety of venues.

Spanish Grand Prix
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Race information
Number of times held64
First held1913
Most wins (drivers)Germany Michael Schumacher (6)
United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton (6)
Most wins (constructors)Italy Ferrari (12)
Circuit length4.657 km (2.894 miles)
Race length307.362 km (190.908 miles)
Last race (2023)
Pole position
Fastest lap

The event is due to take place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya until 2026.[1] From 2026 until at least 2035 the race will be run at a new circuit near Madrid.[2]

History edit

Origins and pre-war edit

The first race generally considered to be a Spanish Grand Prix was held in 1913. Though not run to the Grand Prix formula of the day, instead it was a race for touring cars, taking place on a 300-kilometre road circuit at Guadarrama, near Madrid, on the road to Valladolid.[3][4] It was officially named the RACE Grand Prix[5][6] (after the Royal Automobile Club of Spain) and was won by Carlos de Salamanca with Rolls-Royce.

Motor racing events had taken place in Spain prior to that—the most notable among them being the Catalan Cup held annually from 1908 to 1910, on roads around Sitges, near Barcelona. The first event was won by Giosuè Giuppone on a Lion-Peugeot,[7] with both following events won by Jules Goux, also driving a Lion-Peugeot,[8][9] these races helping to establish a strong racing tradition in Spain, which has continued to this day. This enthusiasm for racing led to the plan to build a permanent track at Sitges—a 2-kilometre (1.2 mi) oval that became known as Sitges-Terramar, and was the site of the first race to officially carry the title Spanish Grand Prix in 1923, won by Albert Divo in a Sunbeam.[10][11]

Lasarte edit

After this first race, the track fell into financial difficulties, and the organisers had to look for another venue. In 1926, the Spanish Grand Prix moved to the 17.749 km (11.029 mi) Circuito Lasarte on the northern coast near Bilbao, home of the main race in Spain during the 1920s—the San Sebastián Grand Prix. The 1927 Spanish Grand Prix was part of the AIACR World Manufacturers' Championship, but the race was still not established and in 1928 and 1929 was run to sports car regulations. The 1930 Spanish Grand Prix for sports cars, scheduled for 27 July, was cancelled due to the bad economic situation following the Wall Street crash in October 1929. The 1931 and 1932 Spanish Grands Prix were also announced, only to be cancelled due to political and economic difficulties. Finally, in 1933 the Spanish Grand Prix was revived at Lasarte with government backing. Following the 1935 race, Spain descended into civil war and racing stopped. In 1946, racing returned to Spain in the form of the Penya Rhin Grand Prix at the Pedralbes street circuit in Barcelona.

Formula One edit

Pedralbes edit

Spain did not return to the international calendar until 1951, joining the list of races of the Formula One championship at the very wide Pedralbes street circuit in Barcelona. Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio won his first world championship at the 1951 event in an Alfa Romeo while he took advantage of the improved works Ferrari's tire problems. The race was scheduled for the 1952 and 1953 seasons but did not take place due to a lack of money,[12] and in 1954, Briton Mike Hawthorn stopped Mercedes's dominance by winning in a Ferrari. In 1955, the Spanish Grand Prix at Pedralbes was scheduled to take place, but a terrible accident at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that killed more than 80 people resulted in regulations governing spectator safety, and the scheduled Spanish Grand Prix (like many others) was cancelled that year and for the subsequent 2 years (also owing to more problems with money to hold the race), and the wide but pedestrian-lined street track at Pedralbes was then never used again for motor racing.

Jarama and Montjuïc edit

In the 1960s, Spain made a bid to return to the world of international motor racing—the Royal Automobile Club of Spain commissioned a new permanent racing circuit just north of Madrid at Jarama, and the Spanish government refurbished the Montjuïc street circuit in Barcelona with safety upgrades. A non-championship Grand Prix took place at Jarama in 1967, which was won by Jim Clark racing in a Lotus F1 car.

In 1968, Jarama hosted the Spanish Grand Prix, near the beginning of the F1 season. It was agreed, following this event, that the race would alternate between the tight, slow and twisty Jarama and the fast, wide and sweeping Montjuïc, and the Montjuïc circuit hosted its first Formula One race in 1969, with Briton Jackie Stewart winning. Jarama would get the race in even-numbered years, and Montjuïc in odd-numbered years. 1970 was a race that saw Belgian Jacky Ickx and Briton Jackie Oliver get involved in a fiery accident; with Ickx and Oliver escaping with burns. The race was won by Stewart, he won again the next year after holding off 3 more powerful 12-cylinder engined cars. Austrian Niki Lauda won his first of 25 races in 1974. The 1975 event was marked by tragedy. There had been concerns about track safety during practice races, as the Armco barriers surrounding the city streets of the Montjuïc circuit had not been fastened down properly. There were a number of protests, and the drivers refused to race. The organizers panicked, and they threatened to lock the cars inside the stadium where they stayed while not being raced. The drivers and teams relented; but double-winner Emerson Fittipaldi retired in protest after a single lap. On the 26th lap of the race, Rolf Stommelen's car crashed when the rear wing broke off, killing four spectators. The race was stopped on the 29th lap and won by Jochen Mass, though only half the points were awarded.

Jarama edit

After the tragic events at the dangerously fast and tight space of Montjuïc, the Spanish Grand Prix was confined to Jarama. The 1976 race saw Briton James Hunt take advantage of Lauda's broken ribs in a tractor accident; he was then disqualified after his McLaren was found to be 1.8 inches too wide. McLaren appealed the decision, and it was successful; Hunt's points were restored. 1977 and 1978 saw Mario Andretti dominate in his ground-effect Lotus 78. The 1980 race was of note, because on the Friday morning of race weekend, FISA president Jean-Marie Balestre announced the Spanish Grand Prix would not be counted as a championship race. As a result, none of the factory teams (Ferrari, Renault and Alfa Romeo) showed up for the event and only the independent constructors belonging to FOCA competed. The race was won by Alan Jones in a Williams. 1981 was a race that Gilles Villeneuve in his ill-handling Ferrari held off 4 better-handling cars to take victory on the twisty and confined circuit; this is considered one of the greatest drives in all motorsports.[citation needed] But the Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama was then also dropped from the racing calendar after being cancelled in 1982 because the organizers seemed more interested in the golf course near the circuit, and because of the narrow track, unpleasantly hot late June conditions, and small crowd at that year's race; it would return in 1986.

Jerez edit

An attempt to revive the Spanish Grand Prix on a street circuit in the southwestern resort town of Fuengirola for 1984 and 1985 did not work out;[13] but in 1985, the Mayor of Jerez commissioned a new racing circuit in his town to promote tourism and sherries. The track, the Circuito Permanente de Jerez, located near Seville in southern Spain was finished in time for the 1986 championship, which saw a furious battle between Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell, with the two cars finishing side by side. Senna won by 0.014 seconds—one of F1's closest finishes. 1987 saw Mansell win in his Williams; and 1989 saw Senna drive a hard race to keep himself in the championship points; he won the event from Austrian Gerhard Berger in a Ferrari and the Brazilian's fierce rival and McLaren teammate, Frenchman Alain Prost. The 1990 event was the last Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez (although Jerez did stage the European Grand Prix in 1994 and 1997). During the practice, Martin Donnelly's Lotus was destroyed in a high-speed crash, and the Briton was ejected from the car. He was severely injured, but survived; he never raced in Formula One again. Jerez's remote location did not help build large crowds for the race, combined with Donnelly's appalling crash into Armco barriers close to the track did nothing to help Jerez's reputation; although the circuit was popular with the F1 fraternity. Ferrari finished first and second in the race, with Prost finishing ahead of Mansell.

Catalunya edit

Work on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was underway in Montmeló, few kilometres from Barcelona, thanks to the support of the Spanish government, and in 1991, the event moved to this new track, where it has remained since. The 1992 event was advertised as the Grand Prix of the Olympic Games. Since that race the race has been held in early season, usually in late April or early May.

The Williams team dominated the first outings there, taking all victories until 1994. Michael Schumacher has won a total of six times, including his 1996 victory in heavy rain, which was his first for Ferrari. Mika Häkkinen took three victories and was on road for fourth in 2001 before his car failed on the last lap.

Since 2003 the race has been well attended thanks to success of Fernando Alonso. Alonso finished second in 2003 and 2005 before taking victory from pole in 2006. Alonso also finished third in 2007, with two further second places in 2010 and 2012, where he finished behind the Williams of Spanish speaking Pastor Maldonado, who won from pole; this was the first win and pole in a Grand Prix for a Venezuelan driver and Williams's first win since the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix and the team's first Spanish Grand Prix win and pole since 1997. Two Spanish drivers have won the Spanish Grand Prix; Carlos de Salamanca in 1913 and Alonso in 2006 and 2013, with Spanish speaking Juan Manuel Fangio winning in 1951 as well as Maldonado in 2012.

From 2013, the Spanish Grand Prix was due to alternate every year between Catalunya and the Valencia Street Circuit.[14] However, this did not happen—Valencia dropped out for financial reasons and Catalunya remained the sole host of the Spanish Grand Prix.[15]

Only four of the 19 races at this track between 2001 and 2019 have not been won from pole position.[16]

The 2020 race was postponed from May to August due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The race returned in 2021; Lewis Hamilton won the race after passing Max Verstappen after making an additional pit stop.

The layout of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya changed in 2023 to use the layout currently used by MotoGP since 2021.[17]

Winners of the Spanish Grand Prix edit

Multiple winners (drivers) edit

Drivers in bold are competing in the Formula One championship in the current season
A pink background indicates an event that was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Wins Driver Years won
6   Michael Schumacher 1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
  Lewis Hamilton 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
3   Jackie Stewart 1969, 1970, 1971
  Nigel Mansell 1987, 1991, 1992
  Alain Prost 1988, 1990, 1993
  Mika Häkkinen 1998, 1999, 2000
  Max Verstappen 2016, 2022, 2023
2   Louis Chiron 1928, 1933
  Emerson Fittipaldi 1972, 1973
  Mario Andretti 1977, 1978
  Ayrton Senna 1986, 1989
  Kimi Räikkönen 2005, 2008
  Fernando Alonso 2006, 2013

Multiple winners (constructors) edit

Teams in bold are competing in the Formula One championship in the current season.
A pink background indicates an event that was not part of the Formula One World Championship.
A yellow background indicates an event that was part of the pre-war European Championship.

Wins Constructor Years won
12   Ferrari 1954, 1974, 1981, 1990, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2013
9   Mercedes 1934, 1935, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
8   McLaren 1975, 1976, 1988, 1989, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005
  Williams 1980, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2012
7   Lotus 1967, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1986
5   Red Bull 2010, 2011, 2016, 2022, 2023
3   Alfa Romeo 1929, 1933, 1951
2   Bugatti 1926, 1928

Multiple winners (engine manufacturers) edit

Manufacturers in bold are competing in the Formula One championship in the current season.
A pink background indicates an event that was not part of the Formula One World Championship.
A yellow background indicates an event that was part of the pre-war European Championship.

Wins Manufacturer Years won
14   Mercedes ** 1934, 1935, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
13   Ford * 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980
12   Ferrari 1954, 1974, 1981, 1990, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2013
11   Renault 1986, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012
3   Alfa Romeo 1929, 1933, 1951
  Honda 1987, 1988, 1989
2   Bugatti 1926, 1928

* Designed and built by Cosworth, funded by Ford

** Between 1998 and 2005 designed and built by Ilmor, funded by Mercedes

By year edit

Jerez, used 1986–1990
Jarama, used 1967–1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976–1981
Montjuïc, alternating with Jarama 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975
Pedralbes, used in 1951 and 1954
Lasarte, used in 1926–1930, 1933–1935
Sitges-Terramar, used in 1923
Guadarrama, used in 1913
A map of all the venues that hosted the Spanish Grand Prix

A pink background indicates an event that was not part of the Formula One World Championship.
A yellow background indicates an event that was part of the pre-war European Championship.
A green background indicates an event that was part of the pre-war World Manufacturers' Championship.

Year Driver Constructor Location Report
1913   Carlos de Salamanca Rolls-Royce Guadarrama Report *

Not held
1923   Albert Divo Sunbeam Sitges-Terramar Report

Not held
1926   Bartolomeo Costantini Bugatti Lasarte Report
1927   Robert Benoist Delage Lasarte Report
1928   Louis Chiron Bugatti Lasarte Report *
1929   Louis Rigal[21][22] Alfa Romeo Report *
1930   Achille Varzi Maserati Report

Not held
1933   Louis Chiron Alfa Romeo Lasarte Report
1934   Luigi Fagioli Mercedes-Benz Report
1935   Rudolf Caracciola Mercedes-Benz Lasarte Report

Not held
1951   Juan Manuel Fangio Alfa Romeo Pedralbes Report

Not held
1954   Mike Hawthorn Ferrari Pedralbes Report

Not held
1967   Jim Clark Lotus-Cosworth Jarama Report
1968   Graham Hill Lotus-Ford Jarama Report
1969   Jackie Stewart Matra-Ford Montjuïc Report
1970   Jackie Stewart March-Ford Jarama Report
1971   Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford Montjuïc Report
1972   Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford Jarama Report
1973   Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford Montjuïc Report
1974   Niki Lauda Ferrari Jarama Report
1975   Jochen Mass McLaren-Ford Montjuïc Report
1976   James Hunt McLaren-Ford Jarama Report
1977   Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford Report
1978   Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford Report
1979   Patrick Depailler Ligier-Ford Report
1980   Alan Jones Williams-Ford Jarama Report
1981   Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari Jarama Report

Not held
1986   Ayrton Senna Lotus-Renault Jerez Report
1987   Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda Report
1988   Alain Prost McLaren-Honda Report
1989   Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda Report
1990   Alain Prost Ferrari Report
1991   Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault Catalunya Report
1992   Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault Report
1993   Alain Prost Williams-Renault Report
1994   Damon Hill Williams-Renault Report
1995   Michael Schumacher Benetton-Renault Report
1996   Michael Schumacher Ferrari Report
1997   Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault Report
1998   Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes Report
1999   Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes Report
2000   Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes Report
2001   Michael Schumacher Ferrari Report
2002   Michael Schumacher Ferrari Report
2003   Michael Schumacher Ferrari Report
2004   Michael Schumacher Ferrari Report
2005   Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes Report
2006   Fernando Alonso Renault Report
2007   Felipe Massa Ferrari Report
2008   Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari Report
2009   Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes Report
2010   Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault Report
2011   Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault Report
2012   Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault Report
2013   Fernando Alonso Ferrari Report
2014   Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Report
2015   Nico Rosberg Mercedes Report
2016   Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer Report
2017   Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Report
2018   Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Report
2019   Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Report
2020   Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Report
2021   Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Report
2022   Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-RBPT Report
2023   Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda RBPT Report

* Sports car race
† Officially named as RACE Grand Prix

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Formula 1 renews deal with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya until 2026". 26 November 2021. Archived from the original on 12 June 2022. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  2. ^ Benson, Andrew. "Spanish Grand Prix to move from Barcelona to Madrid in 2026". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 January 2024.
  3. ^ Marriott, Andrew. "Spanish Grand Prix". Motorsport Magazine. No. June 1969. Archived from the original on 23 May 2020. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  4. ^ Higham, Peter (1995). The Guinness Guide to International Motor Racing. p. 435. ISBN 0851126421.
  5. ^ "Gran Premio del RACE, official name at a newspaper promo". Archived from the original on 22 January 2022. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Gran Premio del RACE, by Pablo López Castillo". Archived from the original on 7 June 2020. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  7. ^ "La Copa Catalunya – Splendide victoire de Giuppone". L'Auto: 1. 29 May 1908. Archived from the original on 27 October 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020 – via BnF/Gallica.
  8. ^ "La Copa Catalunya – Belle Victoire de Goux sur « Lion »". L'Auto: 1. 21 May 1909. Archived from the original on 26 October 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020 – via BnF/Gallica.
  9. ^ "La Coupe de Catalogne – Victoire de Goux sur « Lion »". L'Auto: 1. 30 May 1910. Archived from the original on 27 October 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020 – via BnF/Gallica.
  10. ^ "Announcement of the I Spanish GP". Archived from the original on 7 June 2020. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  11. ^ "Divo, sur Sunbeam, remporte brillamment le Grand Prix d'Espagne". L'Auto. 29 October 1923. Archived from the original on 27 October 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020 – via BnF/Gallica.
  12. ^ "Looking back: F1's Phantom Races". Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  13. ^ Hayhoe, David (2021). Formula 1: The Knowledge (2nd ed.). Veloce Publishing Ltd. p. 35. ISBN 1787112373.
  14. ^ "Valencia pays 2012 fee, Spain to alternate from 2013". MSN Sport. MSN Sport. 9 March 2012. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  15. ^ "No penalty as Valencia breaks F1 contract". 12 October 2013. Archived from the original on 16 April 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  16. ^ "Spanish Grand Prix: All you need to know after Lewis Hamilton takes pole". BBC Sport. 12 May 2018. Archived from the original on 13 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  17. ^ Cooper, Adam. "Spanish GP drops final sector chicane for 2023 F1 race". Motorsport Network. Retrieved 3 January 2024.
  18. ^ a b c d "Spanish GP". ChicaneF1. Archived from the original on 9 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  19. ^ a b c d Diepraam, Mattijs; Muelas, Felix. "Grand Prix winners 1894–2019". Forix. Autosport. Archived from the original on 17 August 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  20. ^ a b c d Higham, Peter (1995). "Spanish Grand Prix". The Guinness Guide to International Motor Racing. London, England: Motorbooks International. p. 435. ISBN 978-0-7603-0152-4 – via Internet Archive.
  21. ^ "Cómo se desarrolló el GP de España 1929". Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 29 July 1929. Archived from the original on 25 December 2021. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  22. ^ "Rigal, sobre Alfa Romeo, fue el ganador de la carrera". Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 29 July 1929. Archived from the original on 25 December 2021. Retrieved 10 December 2021.

External links edit