The Circuit de Catalunya north of Barcelona has hosted the Formula 1 since 1991. It was built as part of the urban facelift that transformed Barcelona for the Olympic Games of '92. Although the Circuit is a popular test run for the F1, it nevertheless poses a challenge to even the most experienced driver. It is a tricky combination of high and low speed corners and is notorious for its rough, uneven surface. The track is exceedingly hard on the tyres and unpredictable wind gusts demand a high level of concentration from all race participants.
The greatest challenges to the drivers are the final two turns - collectively known as New Holland. The track seems to have been particularly lucky for Michael Schumacher, who has won a total of five races here.
The audience, however, is best served at the Elf corner, since this is a rare overtaking opportunity on the track and promises to be the scene of some of the most exciting moments in the race. After Alonso-fever gripped the nation, the Circuit organisers decided to expand the grandstand capacity, adding an entire new section. Further changes include the splitting of ticket prices into four, different categories.
There are a total of 14 grandstands, three of which are covered. In addition, 25 gigantic TV screens will be projecting the action up-close throughout the race, ensuring that no one in the audience will miss even a single, exhilarating minute of the world's 20 best drivers competing neck to neck.
The Circuit is 4,627km long, and the race consists of 66 laps (305,256km). The lap record is held by Giancarlo Fisichella: 1'15.641 in 2005.
As you watch these professional daredevils tear up the asphalt, try to imagine this scene taking place on Montjuic, home to the Spanish Grand Prix from 1969 to 1975.
The Formula 1TM - 52nd Grand Prix Telefónica de España 2008 will take place on April 27th at the Circuit de Catalunya. Ticket information and purchases can be made at http://www.circuitcat.com/ or http://www.servicaixa.com/.
If you buy a three-day pass, you can also stop in at the pit-lane for a visit on Thursday April 24th (10am-12:30pm or 4pm-7pm) and watch the training runs and qualifying races on the days leading up to the race.
On Sunday, April 27th the doors open at 7am. Below you will find a detailed programme of the scheduled events leading up to the 2pm race:
10-11am: support race
12:30-12:40pm: grid presentation
1:30pm: pit-lane opening
1:45pm: pit-lane closing, grid formation
2pm: 52nd Grand Prix Telefónica de España 2008 (66 laps)
If you are a true die-hard fan and don't mind investing a little extra in your F1 experience, then rent a helicopter for an incomparable and astonishing view of the Circuit. For information call +34 93 720 5522 or send a fax to +34 93 712 3722.
If you are looking for a place to stay during the Formula 1, Top Barcelona Apartments can provide you with a wide variety of nice apartments located in and around Barcelona and Montmeló (where the Circuit de Catalunya is located).
Train: Renfe C2 from Sants Estació to Montmeló. 20 minute walk or shuttle to Circuit. Extra train service on F1 days.
Car: Please see maps and directions on Circuit de Catalunya website.
Bus: Autocares Segalés provides service between Barcelona (Sant Joan corner Diputació) and Montmeló. Tickets cost approx. 6€. More info: 93 231 2756.