Circuit de Catalunya
The Circuit de Catalunya is one of the classic race tracks in European motorsports and was built in 1991. It was renamed Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 2013, but fans continue to use its old name because of the emotional history associated with the track.
Over a decade after its construction, the track was first revamped in 2002 by Tilke. While the track length was only marginally modified, the focus was on circuit modernisation, including an increase of the technical driving difficulty and the construction of a new grandstand.
Our team of engineers and architects excelled at upgrading a traditional race track with modern, state-of-the-art concepts for safety and for spectators in a well-balanced manner.
The original premise of driving at the Circuit de Catalunya has therefore not changed. Three of the total 16 turns are to be comprehended as high-speed corners implying particularly high tire wear. Excellent aerodynamics is a prerequisite for scoring at the race track in Montmeló. With a length of over 1km, the Circuit de Catalunya has one of the longest start-finish straights and at the end of this section an extreme braking point awaits the drivers.
In 2007, we had to change the track at turn 13, shortly before the home-straight, due to safety reasons. The new corner combination reduced the average speed by almost 10 km/h. Finding the right braking point and the very right moment to accelerate out of the corner has become key to attaining the maximum speed on the following long straight. The Circuit de Catalunya has a FIA grade 1 license.
Focus on Modern Safety Systems
The Circuit de Catalunya is near to the Catalan metropolis of Barcelona and recognized as one of the most popular tracks in motorsports worldwide. Consequently, Tilke’s expansion of the grandstand to a total of 140,000 seats came only naturally.
The safety features of Tilke’s newly built chicane attracted further attention. Instead of gravel, traditionally used in run-off areas, a tarmac track surface was introduced as an innovative safety solution. This enables drivers to swiftly return back into the action after erroneously slipping off the track - increasing the overall entertainment for the spectators and fans.