Spanish Grand Prix (Spanish GP) – Biography Points

Spanish Grand Prix

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Spanish Grand Prix (Spanish GP)

The Spanish Grand Prix (Spanish: Gran Premio de España, Catalan: Gran Premi d’Espanya) is a prestigious Formula One motor racing event held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. As one of the world’s oldest races, it celebrated its centenary in 2013. Initially starting as a production car race, the event faced interruptions due to the First World War. It resumed a decade later and became a significant part of the European racing calendar.

In 1927, it was included in the World Manufacturers’ Championship and was promoted to the European Championship in 1935. However, the Spanish Civil War halted racing activities. The race made a successful comeback in 1967 and has been a regular feature of the Formula One World Championship since 1968, except for the years 1982 to 1985, during which it was not held.

The event is scheduled to continue at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya until 2026. From 2026 to at least 2035, the race will be hosted at a new circuit near Madrid.

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

Spanish Grand Prix (Spanish GP)
1913
CountrySpain
First Held1913
Most wins (constructors)Ferrari (12)
LocationCircuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Circuit Length4.657 km (2.894 miles)
Race length307.236 km (190.908 miles)
Laps66
Most wins (drivers)
  • Michael Schumacher (6)
  • Lewis Hamilton (6)

History of the Spanish Grand Prix

The inaugural race considered to be the Spanish Grand Prix took place in 1913. It was not a Grand Prix formula race but a touring car competition on a 300-kilometer road circuit at Guadarrama, near Madrid. Named the RACE Grand Prix (after the Royal Automobile Club of Spain), it was won by Carlos de Salamanca in a Rolls-Royce.

Before this, Spain hosted notable motor racing events like the Catalan Cup from 1908 to 1910 on roads around Sitges near Barcelona. These races, won by drivers such as Giosuè Giuppone and Jules Goux, established a strong racing tradition in Spain. This enthusiasm led to the construction of the Sitges-Terramar track, a 2-kilometer oval where the first official Spanish Grand Prix was held in 1923, won by Albert Divo in a Sunbeam.

Lasarte Circuit

Financial difficulties at Sitges-Terramar led to the Spanish Grand Prix moving to the 17.749 km Circuito Lasarte near Bilbao in 1926. The 1927 race was part of the AIACR World Manufacturers’ Championship but faced challenges and was run to sports car regulations in 1928 and 1929. Economic difficulties following the 1929 Wall Street crash led to the cancellation of the 1930 race. Despite attempts in 1931 and 1932, the race only resumed in 1933 with government backing. However, the Spanish Civil War halted racing after 1935.

Formula One Era Pedralbes

Spain rejoined the international racing calendar in 1951 with the Pedralbes street circuit in Barcelona, where Juan Manuel Fangio won his first world championship. The race was scheduled in subsequent years but was canceled in 1952 and 1953 due to financial issues. In 1954, Mike Hawthorn won in a Ferrari, ending Mercedes’s dominance. The 1955 race was canceled after a tragic accident at Le Mans and Pedralbes was never used again.

Jarama and Montjuïc

Spain returned to international racing in the 1960s with the new Jarama circuit near Madrid and the refurbished Montjuïc street circuit in Barcelona. A non-championship Grand Prix at Jarama in 1967 was won by Jim Clark. The race alternated between Jarama and Montjuïc from 1968, with notable winners like Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda. However, a tragic accident in 1975 at Montjuïc led to the race being confined to Jarama.

Jerez

In 1986, the Spanish Grand Prix moved to the Circuito Permanente de Jerez near Seville. The circuit hosted exciting races, including a close finish in 1986 where Ayrton Senna won by 0.014 seconds. Jerez hosted the event until 1990 and staged the European Grand Prix in 1994 and 1997. The last Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez in 1990 saw a dramatic crash involving Martin Donnelly.

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

In 1991, the Spanish Grand Prix moved to the newly built Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Williams dominated the early years, and Michael Schumacher secured six victories here, including his first for Ferrari in 1996. The race gained popularity with the success of Fernando Alonso, who won in 2006 and 2013. Despite plans to alternate the race with the Valencia Street Circuit from 2013, financial issues kept the event solely at Catalunya.

The circuit layout was updated in 2023 to match the MotoGP configuration used since 2021.

Future Plans

Madrid is set to host the Spanish Grand Prix starting in 2026 on a new street circuit around the IFEMA Palacio Municipal.

2010 to Present

The 2011 Canadian Grand Prix became the longest Formula One race ever due to rain delays. After the restart on lap 41, Jenson Button moved from last place to first, forcing leader Sebastian Vettel into an error and winning what he described as “my best ever race.”

The 2013 Canadian Grand Prix was dominated by Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull. However, the race was marred by the first Formula One-related fatality in 12 years. Track marshal Mark Robinson, 38, was run over by a recovery vehicle while removing Esteban Gutiérrez’s Sauber. Robinson died later in the hospital, becoming the first track-side death since marshal Graham Beveridge’s accident at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix.

Winners

Repeat Winners (Drivers)

Wins Driver Years Won
6 Germany Michael Schumacher 1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
6 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
4 Netherlands Max Verstappen 2016, 2022, 2023, 2024
3 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart 1969, 1970, 1971
3 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell 1987, 1991, 1992
3 France Alain Prost 1988, 1990, 1993
3 Finland Mika Häkkinen 1998, 1999, 2000
2 Monaco Louis Chiron 1928, 1933
2 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 1972, 1973
2 United States Mario Andretti 1977, 1978
2 Brazil Ayrton Senna 1986, 1989
2 Finland Kimi Räikkönen 2005, 2008
2 Spain Fernando Alonso 2006, 2013

Repeat Winners (Constructors)

Wins Constructor Years Won
12 Italy Ferrari 1954, 1974, 1981, 1990, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2013
9 Germany Mercedes 1934, 1935, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
8 United Kingdom McLaren 1975, 1976, 1988, 1989, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005
8 United Kingdom Williams 1980, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2012
7 United Kingdom Lotus 1967, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1986
6 Austria Red Bull 2010, 2011, 2016, 2022, 2023, 2024
3 Italy Alfa Romeo 1929, 1933, 1951
2 France Bugatti 1926, 1928

Repeat Winners (Engine Manufacturers)

WinsManufacturerYears Won
14Germany Mercedes1934, 1935, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
13United States Ford1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980
12Italy Ferrari1954, 1974, 1981, 1990, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2013
11France Renault1986, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012
3Italy Alfa Romeo1929, 1933, 1951
3Japan Honda1987, 1988, 1989
2France Bugatti1926, 1928
2Japan Honda RBPT2023, 2024

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