Automobile Grand Prix of Spain
The very first Grand Prix of Spain of 1913 was not run according to the formula of the Grands Prix of today, but according to the rules of the races of private car, on a circuit of 300 km being with Guadarrama, close to Madrid, on the road of Valladolid.
But of the races of mechanical sport had taken place in Spain before that, the most important elements being the Catalane cut of 1908 and 1909, on the roads of Stiges close to Barcelona. These two events were gained by Jules Roux, thus establishing a strong tradition of race in Catalogne, which perduré until today. Enthusiasm and the passion for the automobile races led to the construction of a permanent circuit with Stiges, in 2 km the oval and long, more known form under the name of Sitges-Terramar, and which was the theater of the first Grand Prix of Spain in 1923.
After this first race, the circuit was found empêtré in financial problems, and the principal automobile race of Spain was transferred on the Circuit Lasarte to Lasarte on the northern coast. After the race of 1936, the Spain enters a civil war and the races ceased. In 1946, the races begin again in Spain with the Grand Prix of the Penya-Rhine on the Pedralbes circuit with Barcelona.
Spain did not reinstate the international calendar before 1951, thus joining the list of the races cash for the championship of the world of Formule 1. In 1955, the terrible accident of the Mans have consequences concerning the safety of the spectators, and the hike of Pedralbes was withdrawn from the official calendar.
In the years 1960, Spain made an attempt to reinstate the official calendar of the championship of the world of F1. Royal the Car Club of Spain ordered a new circuit with Jarama, the circuit of Catalonia was transferred to the Parc Montjuïc with Barcelona. A race not counting for the championship of the world of F1 take place with Jarama in 1967, race which was gained by Jim Clark at the wheel of a Lotus.
In 1968, the circuit of Jarama accommodates the Grand Prix of Spain. Following this race, it was decided that the Grand Prix of Spain de F1 would proceed alternatively on the circuit of Jarama and that of Montjuïc.
The race of 1975 was marked by a tragedy. There had been concern on the level of the safety of the track during the turns of tests, and the double winner Emerson Fittipaldi, withdrew himself at the end of one only turn. To the 26e turn, the car of Rolf Stommelen left in the decoration, killing four spectators. The race was stopped and the victory was allotted to Jochen Mass, although half of the points only were distributed.
The Grand Prix of Spain 1980 was the victim of the Guerre FISA-FOCA. Taken with the throat by drastic measurements of FISA, FOCA tries to react by carrying out a kind of guerilla against Jean-Marie Balestre. First point concerned: briefings organized before each test by the direction of race, and to which the pilots have from now on the obligation to assist. On their side, stables FOCA require of their pilots to boycott these obligatory meetings. Jean Marie Balestre distributes fines to the pilots absent, but those refuse to pay and repeat at the time of the following test. The FISA assembles the tone of a notch, and threatens to suspend the contraveners. It is at the time of the Grand Prix of Spain that the situation arrives at its limit: the three manufacturers legalists refuse to take the departure if about fifteen pilots absent to the briefings are not really suspended. No compromise being found, Renault, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo leave the circuit, immediately followed by the official ones of the FISA. The race takes place, only with stables FOCA (the victory will be allocated to the Australian pilot Alan Jones, on Williams), but is declared illegal at once by the FISA, and withdrawn from the championship of the monde.
Dans the weeks which follow, everyone agrees to put water in its wine, and the business of the boycotted briefings and the not regulated fines is forgotten. The championship 1980 can thus continue without new disturbance.
The Grand Prix of Spain remained in Jamara until in 1981, after which it was removed calendar of the tests. In 1985, the mayor of Jerez ordered the construction of a circuit on the territory of its city in order to promote tourism. This track, the permanent circuit of Sherry, was finished in time for the Grand Prix of 1986, Grand Prix which saw a battle tightened between Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna, whose cars finished side by side. The police chiefs allotted the victory to Senna for the 0.014 second the benefit, one of the tightest results of the history of F1.
The Grand Prix of 1990 was the run last with Jerez, although this Grand Prix was stamp “Grand Prix of Europe” in 1994 and 1997. During the tests, the car of Martin Donnelly was destroyed in a collision at high speed in a turn, and Donnelly was seriously wounded. Work on the circuit of Catalonia was in hand, and in 1991, the test was moved on this circuit, place where it is always held.
With its straight line of 1.200 m, longest of the championship, high supports are thus necessary to the single-seaters. The goings beyond are difficult, which often makes the race monotonous and supports the pilots well placed at the tests.
Various circuits used
Records of the Pedralbes circuit
- Record of the turn in race: Manual Juan Fangio in 2min 16s 93 (1951, Alfa Romeo)
- Record of the pole-position: Alberto Ascari in 2min 10s 59 (1951, Ferrari)
Records of the circuit of Catalonia
- Record of the turn in race: Giancarlo Fisichella in 1min 15s 641 (2005, Renault)
- Record of the pole-position: Fernando Alonso in 1min 14s 648 (2006, Renault)
Prize listthe events which did not form part of the championship of the world of Formula 1 are indicated by a pink bottom.
- Official site of the circuit of Catalonia
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