Tourist Information Guide

Formula 1 Barcelona Qualifying Race Reviews

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The qualifying race day happens annually the day before the final race. This is the day when there is an opportunity to witness the battles for the best places on Sunday's starting grid.

It is also an opportunity to see teams such as GP2, BMW and Porsche Supercar race. These are known as the 'support races'.

Qualifying Races: 03 June 2023

Anybody who is unconvinced of the merits of attending the Qualifying Races should read Formula 1 expert, Paul Yates' review of one nailbiting qualifying race.

"This year I chose to watch the Formula One Barcelona GP qualifying on TV rather than go to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. I won't go into the reasons, but what a mistake! I've explained before how the atmosphere in Barcelona is one long party ever since Spanish hero Fernando Alonso blasted onto the scene and I really should have known better than to think it might be flat because of the chances of Fernando doing well were predicted to be so slim.

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For those of you that are not fully acquainted with the F1 scene, let me explain. Last year Fernando joined the McLaren team as the reigning world champion (double world champion at that) with the world at his feet having taken over where Michael Schumacher left off. Not only highly rated by all in the Formula One paddock he has almost God-like status in his home city of Oviedo, Asturias and he took all this to McLaren and was paired with an unknown rookie called Lewis Hamilton.

Well Lewis blew him off the track in no uncertain terms, Fernando got frustrated, Ferrari accused McLaren of spying, Fernando tried to take advantage of the situation and in no uncertain terms became persona non grata in the McLaren camp. There's probably more to this story than we'll ever know, but that's how I read it, and it's only my opinion but I think that my appraisal of the situation is borne out by the fact that Alonso and McLaren chose to terminate contracts one year early by 'mutual consent'' leaving Alonso a free agent. But who to go to? The other top team (Ferrari) had no vacancies so Fernando would have to look further down the field and ended up returning to Renault - a quality team without a doubt where Fernando had won both of his World Championships but by their own admissions now going through a lean spell.

So here we are in at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on home turf with the all but deified star driver in a less than competitive car, not much to shout about, right? Actually wrong!

Not only did Fernando make it through to the top ten shoot out but with thirty seconds to go in the final session he only went and stuck it on provisional pole. Rarely have I been watching F1 on TV and been able to hear the crowd above the roar of the V10 engines but this was one such occasion - an occasion that at the same time as giving me goosebumps also made me severely regret my decision to stay at home.

If there's anything that proves that the home ground and the local support is worth an extra tenth or two then this is it. Alonso finally ended up second to an incredible last-ditch effort from Kimi Raikkonen, and after the final flag everyone said it was just for the crowds and that he was running on low tanks and would make an early stop in the race, but Sunday proved that he was clearly competitive.

Sadly the race ended on lap 33 with an engine failure, but it didn't matter, I'd already missed Grand Prix qualifying - never again."

Grand Prix Tickets

It is not possible to buy a ticket for the Qualifying Races alone. This comes as part of a 3 day pass to the track. This pass grants Circuit access on a testing day, the Qualifying races and the Final Race. It is worth noting that the 3-day passes are the first to sell out. Therefore, if you wish to be at the Circuit for the Qualifying races, it will be necessary to book your tickets fast.

For more information on how to purchase tickets please see our guide to
How and where to buy your Barcelona GP tickets.

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