Get a first look at the 2018 Formula 1 cars, now equipped with the mandatory halo device, at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Williams recruits Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin will be out on track after a busy winter of musical chairs, with the new-look Alfa Romeo Sauber making its first public appearance – now equipped with updated Ferrari engines.
Bucking the trend of F1’s lofty ticket prices, entry starts from just €18/£16, and you won’t have to shell out extra for a trackside seat, either. Most of the circuit’s grandstands will be open during testing, so you can also get a decent, value-for-money view of the Spanish Grand Prix venue.
The intimate atmosphere also means that you may be able to snag an autograph or photo with your driver of choice. In fact, we’d recommend strolling around the track and making the most of the informal atmosphere. Note that snow, wind and rain aren’t out of the question – last year’s event was a somewhat chilly affair.
Of course, teams might be sandbagging – hiding their true performance until the first race of the season – and reliability could be an issue, although this is the second year of the newest specification of hybrid cars, and the creases should be ironed out to a greater degree this season. Above all, this will be your only chance to see the 2018 F1 machinery before the Melbourne GP on March 23.
There are two four-day tests: February 26 – March 1 and March 6-9.
HOW TO GET THERE
Teams and media occupy the best hotels closest to the track, so fly to Barcelona (El Prat airport), stay in the city, take the metro to Barcelona Sants and then the train to Montmeló Station, from which the circuit is about a 30-minute walk or an eight-minute taxi ride.
ALSO GOING ON
Visit the Retro Auto Moto Museum’s collection of about 80 vehicles from the United States, Europe, the UK and ex-Soviet countries. Oddities from Le Zebre, Delahaye, Monet & Goyon and more await in this museum, located in the Gothic Quarter. Entry is €8/£7.
Guided tours of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya take place at 10am, 12pm and 3pm on F1 testing days. Shell out €50/£44 and get a 90-minute look behind the scenes of one of the mainstays of the Formula 1 calendar. Entry to testing is included in that price.
Mar 3-4 – Australian Supercars, Adelaide The 20th running of the Adelaide 500 will be celebrated with a historic racing display, while about 250,000 spectators are expected to watch the opening bouts of this visceral racing series.
IN THE UK
Mar 10 – Evening with David Richards, National Motor Museum, Beaulieu Historian Graham Robson interviews Prodrive and MSA chairman David Richards at the National Motor Museum. It will be open to ticket holders for a private viewing prior to the evening’s lecture.
March 14-17 – Sebring 12 Hours, USA The United States’ oldest road racing track, a former World War II airbase, hosts the 66th iteration of this prestigious endurance staple.
IN THE UK
March 17-18 – 76th Members’ Meeting, Goodwood The historic motor sport season begins in style as GRRC Members get the chance to see tin-tops, GTs, motorcycles and open-wheelers in an intimate, friendly atmosphere, pictured top.
IN THE UK
Mar 31-Apr 2 – British GT and F3 Championships, Oulton Park British GT, the UK’s premier sports car series, kicks off at Oulton Park with two one-hour races over the Easter weekend and support from the British F3 Championship.
IN THE UK
Apr 7-8 – BTCC, Brands Hatch Celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the British Touring Car Championship begin in Kent, with the season-opening triple-header on the Indy track. Expect the usual close racing from a packed grid as the BTCC continues in reassuringly rude health.
MAR 11 INDYCAR St Petersburg
MAR 11 NASCAR Phoenix
MAR 17 FORMULA E Uruguay ePrix
MAR 18 MOTOGP Grand Prix of Qatar
MAR 25 F1 Australian Grand Prix
APR 05 WRC Tour de Course