Start, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021

Spanish Grand Prix to stay at Catalunya until 2026 in new deal

2022 F1 season

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Formula 1 has announced a new deal which will keep the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya until at least 2026.

The track was previously slated to hold the sixth round on the 2022 F1 calendar, subject to agreement of a new contract. As part of the deal, upgrades to the track and its facilities will be completed before next May’s race. The venue is also expected to hold next year’s first pre-season test.

The venue outside Barcelona has held Spain’s round of the world championship every year since the track was completed in 1991. The slow turn 10 was eased ahead of this year’s race to improve the circuit’s suitability for motorbike racing.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali thanked the event’s promoter and the regional authorities “for their enthusiasm and commitment to keeping Formula 1 in Barcelona, with improvements that will be made to the track and facilities, and continuing our long history together.”

As part of the new deal F1 and the promoter have agreed “a mutual commitment clause to help us turn
Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya into a model and world benchmark of sustainability applied to this type of
facilities,” said the regional minister of business and labour Roger Torrent. “We want the circuit to become an exponent of the green transformation and the adaptation of infrastructures to the demands of the climate emergency.”

Further races on next year’s calendar at Imola, Singapore and the Circuit of the Americas are also subject to new contracts.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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32 comments on “Spanish Grand Prix to stay at Catalunya until 2026 in new deal”

  1. Excellent news. A much underappreciated track.

    1. why? The race is crap, I wish the Spanish GP was based at the action packed Valencia street circuit but sadly does not exist anymore due to it being victim of Spains 2000s economic bubble spending spree wasting billions on insane vanity projects by the Spanish central gov( such as Ciudad Real International Airport
      ) and autonomous communities(City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is one example).
      The only reason the F1 members and teams love Barcelona is because its and ‘easy’ lazy track being only a short 2 hour flight from UK bases to el prat and after Silverstone due to all the testing they do there they already have the perfect setup before even turning up

      1. someone or something
        26th November 2021, 16:36

        Action. Packed. Valencia street circuit.

        Poe’s law in its full glory, a true gem of unhinged internet discourse.

      2. While it doesn’t always produce thrilling races, I genuinely am a fan of the Catalunya track and am very pleased to see it staying until 2026. Part of this is emotional as my first Grand Prix was on this track, but I also think it is just a really nice track to watch the cars and it you do see some impressive overtakes around the outside. It’s not one of the best on the calendar, but it is still an average track and is far better than some of the street circuits. It will be drastically improved, as will all of the tracks (Monaco most of all), if the 2022 cars actually are able to follow each other closely.

      3. @ccpbioweapon the Valencian Street Circuit is probably one of the least popular circuits to have ever been on the calendar. The only thing that anybody remembers about the 2011 race, for example, was that there was so little action that it still holds the record for the most finishers in a race, with all 24 drivers finishing the race.

        Most of the races were, rather than being “action packed”, tedious processional affairs that are considered to be amongst the dullest races ever. To underline that point, for the first few years of service, the circuit had the lowest average overtaking rate on the calendar – 2.0 overtakes per race, a rate only a third that of the Catalunya circuit you criticise – and was in the running for potentially being the circuit with the lowest average overtaking rate in the entire history of the sport until DRS skewed the statistics.

        Spectators at the track also commented that the venue itself did little to make people want to go back – viewing angles from the grandstands were poor, the facilities were inadequate and the lack of any protection against the weather made the grandstands pretty uncomfortable places to sit.

  2. I am beside myself with excitement.

  3. A good benefit of this ever expanding calendar, we are getting back the older European tracks. (At least temporarily).

  4. Dreadful news for anyone who’s a fan of decent racing. This track has been unsuitable for good racing since the mid 90s!

    1. To be fair to the circuit, the F1 cars that go there are by far the biggest problem.
      It seemed alright until the mid-late 90’s…

      1. That is fair, it’s not the circuit per se but the cars really don’t suit long sweeping corners. Who knows though, maybe with the 2022 regs I will be proved wrong and we get great racing (I very much hope!)

        1. @cduk_mugello There are other tracks that have long sweeping corners and produce decent racing. It’s the godawful and totally pointless chicane before the track’s only long straight that is the main problem.

          1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
            26th November 2021, 13:14

            @montreal95 the chicane was added after a Moto rider crashed and lost his life at the original fast right hander. I don’t know why they can’t have 2 separate layouts for MotoGP and F1, considering the barrier locations and marshal posts are practically the same…just the little extra hardwork of maintaining a small bit of tarmac.

          2. @asleepatthewheel I’m afraid you’re incorrect. The chicane wasn’t added because of the Moto GP accident. It was added much earlier than that a few years prior to the accident. In fact MotoGP continues to use the old layout without the chicane even after the accident! The only changes made by MotoGP after the accident was a change to the type of gravel used and installation of a SAFER barrier. F1 installed it because it stupidly believed it would increase overtaking, with predictable results as most of the nonsense in the poison dwarf’s era

      2. That might be because back then the gulf in performance between each team was just that – a gulf

  5. I really hope some more track improvements [and yes, I am referring to that ghastly chicane … ] are part of the deal.

    1. + vast majority of the F1 fans

  6. I’d be more excited about this if there had been a decent GP there in the last 20 years…
    The only highlight that springs to mind is the first lap of 2016…

    1. Yes, once again they manage to make the wrong call. Useless track. But then again, whenever has a track been chosen other than for financial reasons. Attractive lay-out certainly isnt one of the criteria considered

  7. Catalunya over Jeddah, Qatar, UAE in any day.

    1. Agree, this circuit is unsuitable, but the ones mentioned are horrible. Money, money, money however.. Liberty clearly is not the company that should own a sport. Clearly they cant handle it

  8. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    26th November 2021, 10:50

    I hate this track. Hate the flow of it and driving it on the game and the races usually are quite dull. Think 2012 and 2016 are the only memorable things about it.

  9. I sure hope they take that horrible chicane away. Those 2 fast right handers at the end of the lap were very cool before they butchered them. Totally ruins the rythm of the last sector.

    Racing is hard with the cars we have and the fact that the teams have lapped it more than any other circuit put together doesn’t help. But it’s not that bad… there are far worse, purpose-built tracks out there.

  10. Thoughts of the typical f1 fan who loves catalunya:
    “We hate abu dhabi cos there is nowhere to overtake” – As if Catalunya is full of overtaking spots
    “We hate DRS cos it makes overtaking artificial” – As if catalunya would have ANY overtaking without DRS
    “We hate ” – As if catalunya has produced an interesting race in the last 25 years

    I know, shocking…

    People are hypocritical, of course they are, but admit it yeah?

  11. It’s a terrible circuit and dreadful to visit. The facilities are right out of the 1970s.

  12. Not a fan of the place (either watching races at it, or driving it on games), so a little disappointed. But maybe the new cars will suit it a little more than the current and recent ones…

  13. some racing fan
    26th November 2021, 23:29

    Unless they get rid of that terrible chicane, this is not welcome news. Why can’t they just make a slower corner out of the second to last corner?

  14. So tired of this track… Keep it for of season testing, not race on it… Portimão is better, is newer, is different!

  15. Most boring track on the entire calendar, at least get rid of the stupid chicane at the end of the lap and make it easier for cars to follow through the final sector to allow natural slipstream overtaking into the first corner

    1. @Sam Crawford Following through high-speed corners is generally harder than slower ones, so not necessarily better for overtaking, but definitely for lap flow.

  16. If in 2022, cars can closely follow through the corners, then it could be an exciting track.

  17. Unsurprising.

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