Testing -Barcelona

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    Alan Flynn


    I have never been to testing before. Is it worth going to and seeing live? Will I get to see much around the circuit and in the pits? Any help greatly appreciated.




    @Flynna89 Access to the pits and paddock is restricted to teams and media, though some paddock tours are available if you shell out for the corporate boxes. In terms of value you will definitely see a lot more lapping from the cars than was the case a few years ago because testing is so limited now and the cars are on the whole a lot more reliable. Remember that each team only has one car, however. And if it rains there isn’t much running at all.

    Alan Flynn

    Thanks Keith. That’s a pity you cant get a little close to the cars without shelling out big bucks. Would love to see the cars up closer before the season starts.


    I’ve been for the last 4 years and have had a great experience. Mind you, it hasn’t rained when I’ve been there, but I do plan my trip to allow for a second day if the first is a washout.

    I go for the corporate package – £250 from someone like JDC Promotions (where you may end up in a smaller box over the pitlane, over 1 garage), or slightly less if you buy direct from the circuit (where you’re more likely to be in a bigger space over a couple of the garages). You get a good view of the pitlane and pit straight from the box, and have access to the roof of the corporate complex which gives you a view of much more of the circuit. At the back of the corporate boxes you can see into the paddock, and you get at least one escorted paddock tour during the day ( 1 if you buy directly from the circuit, and the possibility of more if you’re in a smaller box) as well as a bus ride around the edge of the circuit while the cars are going round. You can walk the pitlane at lunchtime but you don’t get to see too much of the cars. Ferrari in particular are very secretive, but you might end up in a box over their garage in which case you get to see quite a lot of their car.

    If you go for the second testing week the cars are more reliable and you should see more action.

    If you don’t go for a hospitality package you can walk around the track and try different grandstands (which you can do with the hospitality package but it’s tempting to be lazy and stay where you are). You get a good idea of which cars are handling well – it was clear to us that Ferrari were going to be strong, last year. And I think you can book various tours. The grandstands aren’t busy and it looks fun – the DIY approach is my fallback if the first day has bad weather.

    The cars start running at 9am. I’m not sure what time they end but it’s a good full day. Public transport is trickier than during the race weekend because the shuttle buses don’t run.


    It is always worth it to go testing – If you don’t want to spend £250 a day on the hospitality then go for one of the circuit tours that cost €50 as this gets you entry to the circuit for the day (usually €18 without a tour) and access to all the open grandstands, as well as a tour of the circuit, including the paddock (if your lucky you may see a driver or 2), pit buildings and a drive around the inner circuit roads right next to the cars on track, you can also go onto the roof of the pit buildings and look down on the cars which is great. Book the tour on line at the circuit website as they tend to sell out quite quickly if you do want to go for that option. Last year the Red Bull drivers ventured out into some of the grandstands to sign autographs – you just need to be in the right place at the right time for stuff like that.


    Seriously considering going for the first time ever to the Barcelona pre-season testing.
    Have a choice between RedBull and Ferrari for the March dates(AMG Petronas is sold out). Heard the hospitality experience is better with RB but am a Tifosi at heart but fear they may be more uptight and secretive.
    Any advice with regards to which team provides a better overall experience?


    A quick report after a day in the Montjuic Club (aka Piso Box) for pre-season testing.

    We got a taxi from downtown Barcelona to the accreditation centre at the circuit, where we needed to collect our passes. The taxi cost less than 40 euros, which was good value considering we were held up by a strike/demo. The taxi driver was confident getting to the circuit but I’d recommend printing out the circuit map to locate the accreditation centre. Once you’ve picked up the passes it’s a 10-15 minute walk to the Montjuic Club, just past the Paddock entrance. On the way back we decided to take a short taxi ride to Montmelo station to catch the R2 train back to Passeig de Gracia. Taxis are plentiful at the circuit but I’d recommend asking the price in advance; our trip wasn’t metred and we were charged 15 euros.

    The Montjuic Club was directly above the Mercedes garage, opposite the main grandstand. The food was excellent this year, catered by the Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos hotel, and available from 9am to around 3pm. There’s plenty of beer/wine/cava/soft drinks/coffee/water. You get a paddock tour (plenty of familiar faces) and a bus ride round the circuit. I was thinking of skipping the ride this year but was glad I didn’t. You get great views of the cars running right next to the bus, and we also saw several drivers and commentators standing by the turns watching the action.

    There were cars on track almost all day, and you get a great view of the pitstops because you’re standing more or less overhead. You can explore the whole circuit, checking out all the grandstands, and also go onto the roof to stand above your favourite team’s garage.

    I’m interested in Debs advice above, and am wondering whether to just do the circuit tour next year rather than hospitality. I do like being right above the garages; the photo opportunities are great, especially when the Truck of Shame rolls into the pitlane. And the food is excellent. But if money is an object then I think the circuit tour would also give a really good experience.


    We went hospitality with Red Bull in 2016 and was more like 600E rather than the 250E above for the box. We were coming over from Australia so happy to spend that extra for the time.

    That gives you Paddock access all day, you can just walk through empty garages into pit lane but Teams are still very protective of anyone going into the garages but if you say hello and ask some teams may let you- but try bottom half of the grid.

    With Red Bull we got food, drinks, many trips into the garage and met Dan & Max a few times (Dan knew we Aussie so spent more time having a chin wag).

    I am pretty sure people in the hospitality above us that paid half the price wandered down into the paddock anyway and there was little security, so it depends it you want to pay to go into a garage and see the car up close or not.

    Either way I would recommend doing testing, great access and no crowds- and F1F dream!

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