Spanish GP Travel Guide

Spanish Grand Prix 2017

City: Barcelona

Time zone: BST +1

Population: 3m

How far?

Barcelona is 707 miles (1,138km) from the McLaren Technology Centre.

Getting there

Many different airlines offer routes to Barcelona and, being relatively close to the MTC, it’s possible to drive there in a couple of days.

Biggest travel headache?

“There are none of the time-consuming visas that accompanied each of the opening four races,” says Clare Martin, Head Race & Test Co-Ordinator. “But there are more people on the ground at a European race because we have the transporters and the Brand Centre present. That’s a total of 24 trucks, which means extra hotel rooms have to be found for the drivers”.

Surprising fact

Montjuic Park, situated in the hills above Barcelona, is the former home of the Spanish Grand Prix (last race: 1975); at 203 hectares, it’s the largest park in Spain.

Local speciality

Pan con tomate. Catalans don’t put butter on toast; they spread tomato, olive oil, garlic and salt.

When in Rome…

Why not pay a visit to the Nou Camp, home of FC Barcelona. You don’t need to be a football fan to appreciate the history and scale of the 100,000-seat stadium, opened in 1957.

Weather

Spring is a wonderful time to visit Barcelona. The temperature is usually in the mid-20s and the forecast for the race is good.

Top tips from our local Hilton Concierge

Your inside information on Barcelona, brought to you by our partner, Hilton

If you were to visit only one attraction in the city where would it be?
Sagrada Familia. This large Roman Catholic Church was designed by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí with construction starting in 1882. Over one hundred years later construction remains incomplete but despite this the church is an imposing building located in the centre of the city.

Where would you recommend the McLaren-Honda team should eat one night?
With Barcelona located on the Mediterranean Sea, I would recommend the restaurant ‘Botafumeiro’ which has excellent seafood sourced fresh from the city’s fish market. The restaurant is located on Gran de Gràcia street just five minutes’ walk from the main arterial Av. Diagonal road.

Which location sums up the Spanish lifestyle best? 
The seaside promenade… the urban beaches are amazing. Following the Olympics in 1992, the Mediterranean coastline received significant investment, and the result is Barceloneta Beach. Flashy bars and restaurants have opened along the sea front, and it’s now the go-to place for the city’s coolest crowds at any time of the day and night.

Describe Barcelona in 3 words.
Architecture, nightlife and sun!