Formula 1 2013 circuit guide: Spanish Grand Prix

Once famed for its thrill factor, the Barcelona circuit is one of F1's tamer meets nowadays

Spanish Grand Prix, Circuit de Catalunya


12 May 2013, 1pm GMT

Live on BBC and Sky Sports F1

First Grand Prix: 1991

Track length: 4.655 km

Number of laps: 66

Lap record: 1:21.670, Kimi Raikkonen, 2008

One of the more exacting courses in Formula 1, the Catalunya circuit leaves its mark on drivers and cars thanks to an uneven surface which can wear down fitness levels and tyres in equal measure.

Add to that a punishing wind which sweeps across the track in interchangeable directions and, all in all, the trip to Barcelona is, invariably, no picnic.

Once renowned for being the most thrillingly, exciting track in the business, changes to the cars have rendered the meet here a rather staid, monotonous drudge.

Previously, there were big opportunities for overtaking because the cars could get very close through the last two corners. Subsequent modifications mean turbulence from the rear wings prohibits such aggressive manouevres today.

Gone are the exhilirating days when Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna would roar along, side by side, into the final straight on this track. In their place we have an altogether more conservative procession towards the finish line.

Perhaps with this in mind the Spanish Grand Prix will alternate, as of this year, between here and a new street circuit in Valencia designed, no doubt, to inject some excitement back into proceedings.

2012 memory: A spectacular fire in the Williams garage after the race, which left 31 staff needing hospital treatment.

Previous winners

2012: Pastor Maldonado

2011: Sebastian Vettel

2010: Mark Webber

2009: Jenson Button


2008: Kimi Raikkonen