The FIA Formula One World Championship will be put to the test at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from 2 to 4 June in an edition packed with improvements.

Formula 1

The FORMULA 1 AWS GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2023 has kicked off its 33rd edition at Port Vell. Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has chosen an ideal location for the traditional launch event, the Formula 1 Barcelona Village. Among curious onlookers, tourists and fans, some of the protagonists of the event -such as Carlos Sainz- have shared the keys to the event together with the invited authorities.

The event was chaired by Roger Torrent, President of the Circuit and Catalan Minister of Enterprise and Employment, who was accompanied by Josep Mateu, President of the RACC; Pere Rodríguez, Mayor of Montmeló; Pau Solanilla, Commissioner for Economic Promotion of the Barcelona City Council; among other authorities such as Josep Lluís Santamaría, General Manager of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Several drivers linked to the event were also present, such as Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz; Pedro Martínez de la Rosa and Marc Gené, former F1 drivers; and Pepe Martí, F3 driver.

The President of the Circuit and Catalan Minister of Enterprise and Employment, Roger Torrent, has assured today that “this weekend we expect the attendance of more than 100,000 people at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya”. During his speech, the President of the Circuit explained that those attending the Grand Prix will be able to see the improvements introduced to “renovate the facility”, such as an increase of shaded areas, information stands, or a reinforcement of public transport to get to the venue. In this sense, Torrent reminded that with the Circuit’s Strategic Plan “we are introducing improvements both for the drivers and teams and for the public in order for the Circuit to continue being a leader”.

Carlos Sainz was particularly eager to tackle his home race for the ninth year in a row. This is my ninth year and I don’t understand it. It seems like yesterday when I made my debut with Toro Rosso in 2015. It was also my best qualifying up to that point. It’s a circuit that has a lot of history for me, it’s where I fell in love with F1, I met Marc Gené, Pedro de la Rosa and Fernando Alonso by the hand of my father. That’s when I decided I wanted to be a driver”, shared the Ferrari driver. In the same vein, he added that “it’s a very special race, it’s hard for me to tell people what it’s like to race at home. Entering and leaving the circuit is to see people who give you encouragement, who always have good words. I’m going to try to enjoy it as much as possible as always”.

The Spaniard also highlighted the role of the circuit as a reliable test track for all the teams. “This is the ideal circuit to test an aerodynamic package. Barcelona is the place we all mark on the calendar to test certain developments on Friday and then implement them on Saturday and Sunday. We hope to make a step forward this weekend, get past Aston Martin and challenge Red Bull, although we know they will all bring improvements,” said Carlos Sainz in front of some hopeful fans.

Pedro Martínez de la Rosa and Marc Gené predicted a high level Spanish Grand Prix and commented on the particular situation of each of the teams they represent. De la Rosa said that “in F1 there are no miracles. Last year at the Circuit, Aston Martin introduced a new car, and the drivers were out of Q2. Since then, it has been the car that has evolved the most. A lot of new people have also been brought in, young people, all focused on the improvement we are seeing”.

Gené, for his part, added that at Ferrari “new things will come, but they will also come for the rest of the teams. We still think that the car has potential, and that our weakest point is the race, but we are in a position to fight for podiums. It’s a circuit that suits us well, and we are hitting the nail on the head in terms of strategy, as well as being the team with the quickest stops. So we hope to see that podium”.

F3 World Championship driver Pepe Martí is looking at his home race very optimistic after a win last weekend. “It was special, it was my first time in Monaco and winning the first race there was very important. It’s a very big step to win my first F3 race and to do it at the first attempt is very special”  said Alonso’s pupil, who also had words of thanks for him. “The opportunity to be part of my idol’s academy is something incredible, I have been following him all my life. His support is essential for me, the way he supports us and transmits it to you is impressive for us”, he concluded.

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