Fans and drivers share the spotlight at the SpanishGP

Fans and drivers share the spotlight at the opening of the F1 Spanish Grand Prix

The Pit Walk for the fans and the press conference for the drivers were the key moments of the first day of the sporting event.

Formula 1

The FORMULA 1 AWS GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2023 started today to prove that promises are to be kept. For weeks now, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been promising an exciting event full of thrilling emotions. Well, today the time has come to make it come true.

The first day of the Spanish Grand Prix, even though there was no activity on the track, gathered numerous fans in the afternoon, who came together for the traditional pit lane visit thanks to the Pit Walk. For a total of two hours, fans were able to stroll through the pit lane and get a close-up view of all the pre-event preparation, as well as the garages fully customised with posters of their Grand Circus idols. As expected, the most acclaimed drivers were the national heroes, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz.

Alonso today had a slightly different journey to that of Carlos Sainz because, although he appeared before the media, he did not do so at the official press conference of the event. The Ferrari driver did, accompanied by other World Championship rivals such as Lando Norris (McLaren), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Logan Sargeant (Williams) and Nyck de Vries (AlphaTauri); while another group included Max Verstappen (Red Bull), George Russell (Mercedes), Nico Hülkenberg (Haas), Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo) and Esteban Ocon (Alpine).

All of them have openly expressed where they are or will be during the Barcelona event. Even so, the most recurring themes were the possible appearance of rain this weekend, the improvements brought by most of the grid, the superiority of Red Bull and Max Verstappen and the new configuration of the track without the last chicane. As it couldn’t be otherwise, the most daring drivers also wanted to share their favourite parts of the Catalan track.

Carlos Sainz, in the same positive vein as yesterday at the presentation of the Grand Prix in Port Vell, stated that “racing at home puts me in a better mood and, although it is not possible to quantify this improvement, it is more than evident that the fans provide me with that extra push to give my all”. He also added that “after a difficult start to the year, we’re going to try to correct the shortcomings we’ve had with an improvement package”.

Max Verstappen was another of the day’s protagonists. The World Championship leader also returns to a very special track for him, the one that gave him his first victory. From that moment in 2016 until now, the Dutch driver has become the most successful in Red Bull’s history, with a record 39 wins for the squad. “It’s just numbers, I just want to keep doing well and keep improving, and Red Bull is giving me a good car to do that. We’re very happy, but we want more,” said the front-runner.

George Russell, another of the championship’s heavyweights, alluded to Red Bull’s superiority and Aston Martin’s strong performance. “We feel good in the car, but the times don’t reflect that. By the time we realised that, Aston Martin had already taken another step forward. I’d like to believe that at some point we can fight with Red Bull and stand up to them, so Barcelona is very important, because after a succession of very different circuits and some city circuits, from now on we’ll really see where we’re at,” said the Englishman.

Lando Norris, for his part, has openly accepted that McLaren could benefit from rain at the Spanish Grand Prix: “I think we would have a better chance in the wet, as I think we saw in Monaco. Also, I think it would be fun, as you always take more risks on wet tarmac,” concluded Norris.

An event packed with activities

There will be a Fan Zone, located behind the Main Grandstand, with proposals and activities for all tastes. In addition, the Fan Forum will be held there, a series of interviews with drivers of all categories throughout the weekend. The complete programme can be checked at the Circuit website. There will also be other areas of attraction such as the Green Zone and the Kids Zone (area of the Crater Forest), the Pelouse Jove (at Turn 4) or the Food Fest (old heliport area). At the end of the event and after the F1 race, it will be possible to access the track thanks to the Open Track (through different open accesses in the public areas) and enjoy DJ Melanie Ribbe, who will animate the activity from the podium.

Access to the Circuit

All the gates of the Circuit will open tomorrow from 7.30 a.m., while on Saturday and Sunday they will open at 7 a.m. All box offices except box office 5 will also be open, with the same opening hours as the gates. It is recommended to arrive at the facilities by public transport in order to avoid crowds of vehicles.

It should be reminded that parking tickets must be exchanged for a sticker and that only users who have previously purchased their ticket at the Circuit website will be able to access with a private vehicle. Also, the car parks are dynamic, there is no parking allocated according to entrance or Grandstand/Pelouse area, but they will be filled according to the capacity in real time and volume of cars. All gates can be used to access any point of the Circuit.

A sustainable management of the Grand Prix

The Circuit will promote a wide range of actions within the framework of its 3C management philosophy (conscience, commitment and coherence) in sustainability, integrating the social, economic and environmental aspects. Under the slogan “Driving for a better future”, it works to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the UNEP Agenda 2030. These include the use of 100% renewable energy, the donation of food, the use of 0 km gastronomic products, waste management, sustainable forestry care of the Circuit environment or the use of circular economy to fund it with other sustainable actions.

Last tickets on sale

To attend the FORMULA 1 AWS GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2023, the last tickets are still available at the Circuit’s website. With Pelouse and Pelouse Jove sold out, as well as the three-day tickets for many grandstands, the Circuit has some limited visibility tickets available, which have a 20% discount, as well as some others in the new grandstands T1 and S. For more exclusive experiences, some hospitality tickets are also available.

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