Spanish GP – How to enjoy the Barcelona race live

As you may have realized, one of the regular F1Wolf readers and commentators lives nearby the Barcelona F1 circuit. Unsurprisingly, he seems to know the track quite well. He sent over a long message with lots of tips how to make the most of the visit to the Spanish GP. I chose to turn his comment into a post. So here it comes, Spanish GP by Kotenok, I added few photos (courtesy of AT&T Williams) for decoration:

Barcelona Track

Everybody might be thinking now: “Teams are preparing already the few last details and gathering for the whole weekend competition”. That’s true!! In Montmeló everything is ready, they’re prepared for showing to the world another complete race weekend!

I’m expecting to hear the cars roar soon, while now the motor homes are being built and the drivers walk over the track to find out any changes since tests last week, and I’m really anxious! HEHE!!!

Since the first event in 1992, this circuit became one of the greatest! Catalonia’s International Circuit is the first of these tracks from the new-era, this circuit attached to his history 4 times the best GP organization (1992, 2001, 2003 and 2006). The circuit hasn’t been designed by hands of Herman Tilke, but nowadays includes some spots of his work.

Barcelona Track

As written in last F1 Racing (Spanish edition, at least), this year organizers will perform some surprise – something that the remaining circuits won’t have or can’t do. What is it??? I’m not expecting any anti-racism program, as Max Mosley promised since February (he and his FIA mates shall feel sorrier about other facts recently). The surprise could be the presentation of some young Spanish driver in a F1 team? It’s the aim of their campaign which RACC and Catalonian government are carrying out; they want to open the doors to a young talent in the F1 championship in 1 or 2 years. Except it, I expect any entertainment could happen this weekend! A new great race weekend with GP2 and Formula One as top events, also there will be Porsche Supercup and the little but fast Formula BMW.

My experience in the circuit is wide, and I can recommend through my opinion the best spots to follow the race and how to move inside the track – even if owning Pelouse (General Admission) tickets that don’t allow access to grandstands.

Barcelona Track

Main access gates are gates 3 and4. The East sector has maybe the best grandstands: F, E, K and J! The end of the main straight is incredible to follow the race; about a 20% of the circuit is able to be seen from there. But the best of all, the main straight give the possibility to see great overtakes in the first lap and also during the race on the first Elf corner. Also from there can be seen the climb up the hill of the Campsa curve. From the East sector, you access also the main grandstands. There you have the views of the straight ends, pit-lane and boxes. Also the VIP grandstands have been built just on the last curve after Grandstands I. They offer views of the pit-lane entrance and the heavy braking of cars (so they do not go over the speed limit). There is also cute zone for families to have a picnic.

Next, the South sector is possible to access from gate 6. Inside this sector is the Pelouse exclusive to the “Circuit Subscribers”, non-members have no access. This Pelouse is quite difficult to access – takes long walk to get there. It however offers great close views of the track action, the closest you can get to track on the whole circuit. In Southern sector there are grandstands around fast curves and many Pelouse zones. A, is a grandstand that faces the main straight and provides views of the first three corners, Elf and Renault. From A can be taken pictures of great quality, but a great zoom is needed to do it because it is quite far from the action. (The end straight speeds means an enormous gravel run off area.).

I never sat on grandstand L, because to me it does not look interesting. It looks down to curve one Renault. The only thing that can happen there is an overtaking (lapping) of some slower car. This corner is fast and never-ending. Few things ever happen here and it is even not possible to see a television from there.

Barcelona Track

Further, in the grandstand M everything seems different to me, there is a 20 sqm TV screen, the biggest ever installed in a F1 race!!! And the view to a slow corner can be exciting, when a car suddenly stops coming from a fast corner and a little straight. It’s a beautiful moment when they change the direction going down. In this South sector I recommend everybody with Pelouse tickets to walk a little bit; this year will be less people with tickets of this kind than other years, Pelouse I mean, and this allows you to change more places and see the race up to your taste. Corner 4 and 7 are really enjoyable :) .

Next is Western area that can be accessed via gates 7 and 1. It’s quite the fastest sector of the circuit. There is one pretty place to be seen, most of drivers say this is the most amazing corner in F1 season since Suzuka’s 130-R disappeared from calendar. It’s true, the freaky feeling in this corner is awesome in a simulator, I can’t imagine it alive. This corner that I’m talking about is Campsa curve, known as ‘La Moreneta’ (The Brunette) because there gravel is dark there. Here, in Catalonia, this name means something else very important to our culture. This is a corner that drivers describe: “We can’t see how it turns, it’s a blind curve, we just hold our breath and steer expecting to do it good”. Campsa, turn 9, has a TV screen and can be seen from the upper grandstands N and Pelouse zone in front of it, close to the bridge crossing the paddock entrance.

From the lower N grandstands it’s possible to see the cars going up at terrific speed past the 7th turn of the circuit. It’s nice to see but there isn’t an overtaking point or a part to take care specially. Of course there is a TV screen that allows to follow the race in front of turn 8. On the hilltop, after turn 9, there is a fun zone at every race and a wide Pelouse zone. There the Nissan turn any more. This has been converted to run off area as it is a fast straight. Up to the end of this straight are the second VIP grandstands, looking to the turn 10.

Northern quarter is the epicenter for F1 Spanish fanatics, access is gate 2. This zone is called “The Stadium”, and it’s composed of a snake of grandstands; B, G, C and H, provides a view over the 35-40% from the circuit. Could somebody imagine following with his or her view a F1 car during so much time during a race? In the Spanish GP this is possible! This complex is composed by turn 10, La Caixa, turn 11, Banc Sabadell, turn 12, Europcar, and the new turn 13 and 14, chicane RACC and New Holland. Some places from the grandstands can have better view than others, but the Stadium is the best place to see Formula One cars. However there are not many overtakings there, in spite of being a slow sector.

Well, I hope this explanation help somebody to enjoy the race this weekend or to enjoy someday the visit to this circuit during a race! To be the first in Europe in the F1 Season calendar makes the grandstands full, circuit usually reaches 80% to 100% of its capacity.

Photos: AT&T Williams / LAT

7 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Hey, thanks to publish it like that! It looks cool :)

    Having time to get bored sometimes it’s productive and really like to collaborate with your site ;)
    Thanks for the corrections, they’re pretty nice and some were needed HEHE It’s easy to notice my Spanish accent on English, even while reading HAHAHA! Well, just would like to tell that it’s curvone Renault, the turn 3, not one (I don-е know why the circuit has been named with Italian nouns, but well it was curvone).

    I forgot two topics to tell about:

    There is one tunnel which connects East and West sectors; there isn’t so big need to run around the circuit (it’s good to know if you want to see the podium at the end of the race). The gate to access from West is near the pelouse zone from turn 6, and the gate on East sector under grandstands E, which guarantee you a flexible mobility.

    Second is handling a map is the best way to move. And never try to jump to the track! In Spanish GP “tifossi” invasion on the track is banned and fined. Don’t jump to the ‘black road’ if you’re not accreditation. Guards and marshals are there to work, and won’t doubt to demand you to go away.


  2. BenNo Gravatar says:

    Great to get those bit of info to fuel my exitement of the race. I can’t wait. Thanks Wolf and Kotenok this has been a very interesting site I am glad I found it.

  3. Ferrari_AlexNo Gravatar says:

    This is a very nice post. I would want to get in touch with someone who actually knows how to get around Barcelona track. I am planning to go to the race together with my friend and we would want to know how to plan the budget for the trip – tickets, traveling, accommodation, etc.
    I have been to Monza last year and I know how important it is to know the best seat and also the travel and accommodation cost.
    Please let me know whether I will be able to get in touch with the person that know all of that. Thanks

  4. AshleyNo Gravatar says:


    You descrbe that these stands are the best ;

    “Northern quarter is the epicenter for F1 Spanish fanatics, access is gate 2. This zone is called “The Stadium”, and it’s composed of a snake of grandstands; B, G, C and H, provides a view over the 35-40% from the circuit. Could somebody imagine following with his or her view a F1 car during so much time during a race? In the Spanish GP this is possible! This complex is composed by turn 10, La Caixa, turn 11, Banc Sabadell, turn 12, Europcar, and the new turn 13 and 14, chicane RACC and New Holland. Some places from the grandstands can have better view than others, but the Stadium is the best place to see Formula One cars. However there are not many overtakings there, in spite of being a slow sector.”

    Which out of these would you say is the best?


  5. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ashley!

    This post has been made long ago, and it’s still surprising I receive some feedback :) But I’m very glad about your interest!!!
    The circuit’s design didn’t change for the past 2 years, and it’s not expected that it will this year except the top of the turn 9 where Heikki Kovalainen crashed last year, it’s said this area will be changed from gravel to asphalt. Stands remain the same as they were last season’s F1 race. And an maximum seating capacity is about 160.000 people.

    Well, the closest points to the track aren’t bad, they’re pretty impressive when the F1’s are passing specially during the first laps when they’re still running as a pack. But I highly recommend those spots which give a wide angle of sightseeing; those are at the end of the main straight, the stadium area and the RACC chicane. As mentioned in that early post, these grandstands are: K, E, F, G, C, H, S, I (which is a paddock club stand). Anyway, it deserves to be walking around the track during training sessions to see around what’s the best spots for picturing cars for example, there’s no problem for finding any kind of services at the circuit’s field, WC’s, shops, bars and some ATM’s are located around. The infield is exclusive for those who have a paddock club ticket, and the motorhomes are even more exclusive, contact the several teams attending the event if you’re interested of this kind of access.

    But usually is said that a picture is better than anything, so I recommend you to see my photo gallery in F1Wolf club in Kotenok’s page, there’s a huge amount of pictures done in the Montmeló track, you can chose these ones which you like what you see and I’ll tell you which spot at the circuit it is.

    Follow this link:

  6. FrozenRacerNo Gravatar says:

    Hi, thanks for this post, very nice information. I’m going to the race this year, bought a ticket to Grandstand G – got it in the mail today, I’m extatic!

    Do you think the new rules (specifically the reduced downforce) will increase the overtaking chances in this area of the track? I’ve driven the track a lot in a simulator, that’s why i chose the grandstand – seems like a very nice place to watch the performance of the cars. Any thoughts on how the 2009 race will be different to 2008, specifically from grandstand G? :)

    Cheers from a northern petrolhead

  7. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Well, overtaking was happening all around the stadium area during the pre-season, if that answers your intrigue, there’s a nice view, but I should advise that usually people use to stand up there, but surely not the whole time, GP2 should be exciting as every year, and F-BMW accompanies the F1 race too. As the grandstands are low, there’s always the fence, but standing in higher positions makes able to take great pictures from the cars. However, one of my favorite spots is just in the pelouse zone from turn 7, there’s a corner of middle speed, and there’s heavy breaking in the last meters. Really enjoyable on FP, Qualify or Race, the fence is low (about 1.50 m) and you can just feel drawn into place, but the crowd could take all the place and be a little bit narrow over there :P

    I would say grandstand G is a good variant for enjoying the race, a tricky place now with reduced downforce. For me it’s a pitty that turn 14 is quite far for seeing the action over the chicane, but you’ll see it in huge TV screens just over that corner :)

    Kotenoks last blog post..F1Wolf added a video

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