The Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix: Facts, History, and News
The Formula 1 2020 Spanish Grand Prix has been postponed due to the global spread of the coronavirus.
However, auto racing fans and Formula 1 enthusiasts all over the world are still hungry for news and quality content about the sport. If you are reading this, it’s because you’re one of them!
We at Homeschool Spanish Academy have your back with this in-depth profile of the F1 Spanish Grand Prix. Let’s explore interesting facts, the sport’s history, an analysis of its future, and useful racing vocabulary in Spanish.
Spanish Grand Prix History
The first-ever Spanish Grand Prix took place more than 100 years ago, making it one of the most storied in Formula 1. Nevertheless, those first races at the beginning of the 20th century weren’t part of the Formula 1 calendar.
Not until 1951 did the Spanish Grand Prix join the Formula 1 world championship, with a race at the Pedrables circuit. However, in 1955 it was dropped from the calendar due to new safety rules.
In 1968, the Spanish Grand Prix returned to Formula 1 and stayed on the calendar until 1981, with races alternating between the Jarama and Montjuic circuits. In 1975 at Montjuic, a tragic crash between Emerson Fittipaldi and Rolf Stommelen killed four fans. That same race at Montjuic is also the only one where a woman earned championship points, with Lella Lombardi finishing in sixth place.
In 1986, the Formula 1 calendar recovered the Spanish Grand Prix for good. First, it was held at Jerez, and since 1991 it has taken place on its current track, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Perhaps the most famous race in the rich history of the Gran Premio de España (its original name in Spanish) took place at the inaugural race in Barcelona when famous drivers Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell had a legendary duel.
- The current track of the Spanish Grand Prix was part of the integral development program of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
- The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is 4,655 kilometers long and takes 66 laps to complete.
- A track in Valencia was supposed to alternate with the circuit in Barcelona to host the Spanish Grand Prix, but that idea never materialized.
- In 1993, three legends of Formula 1 finished on the podium: Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, and Michael Schumacher.
- Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado’s only win in Formula 1 took place at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix.
- Michael Schumacher has the record of wins at Catalunya with six. Rubens Barrichello has 7 non-finishes, also a record.
The Coronavirus Situation
The world is in the middle of a pandemic, and perhaps it seems that worrying about sports is frivolous. But the truth is that sports help us to release fear and worries.
Formula 1, like every other major sport, has suspended its events due to the coronavirus emergency. For a brief moment, it seemed that the 2020 season was going to start as scheduled in Australia, only to be stopped in its tracks after it was revealed that one member of McLaren’s had tested positive for the coronavirus.
It didn’t take long for Formula 1 to announce the suspension of the Dutch and Spanish Grand Prix. The keyword here is “suspension,” because, in theory, these two races could still take place when the season resumes. In contrast, the Monaco Grand Prix has already been canceled, with no plans to take place at any point later this year.
Formula 1 2020 Season
The season is on hold for now, with the most recent Grand Prix canceled being the Canadian one scheduled to take place on June 14. The authorities of the sport are discussing various scenarios and considering pushing some races to 2021.
The truth is that nobody knows, pretty much like with everything else in the world right now. Nobody knows when schools will open again or when people will be able to get back to work. The same thing applies to Formula 1 and the Spanish Grand Prix. Hopefully, there will be a 2020 Formula 1 season, but we have to wait for the situation to stabilize first, as no sports event is worth risking a single life.
Future of the Spanish Grand Prix
Last year, a few races (including Barcelona’s) were at risk of losing their spots in the 2020 Formula 1 world championship. However, when the calendar was announced the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was still there.
The 2020 season was supposed to be the longest in history with 22 races, but due to the cancellation of the Monaco Grand Prix that won’t be the case anymore.
However, that announcement also meant that this would have been the 30th consecutive season of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, as well as its 50 year anniversary, whenever the race does take place.
The future, sadly, doesn’t look as good. The internationalization of Formula 1 is here to stay, with new races popping everywhere in the world with tracks ever more innovative and stadiums more spectacular.
Maybe there is a future for the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, but apparently not in Barcelona, at least for a while. Reports that Jerez is in talks with Liberty Media, the company that manages Formula 1, point to the race taking place there from 2021 to 2023.
After that, who knows? There was a time when European cities had to fight against each other to host a Formula 1 race. Nowadays, they have to fight every other big city in the world. The competition is steep!
Sooner or later, things will go back to normal and the Formula 1 world championship will resume. Then, you’ll have the opportunity to attend the Spanish Grand Prix (before it’s too late) and make new friends through sports using some of the following words:
la carrera – race
el piloto – driver
la velocidad – speed
la temporada – season
los puntos – points
el podio – podium
la pista – track
el campeonato – championship
los jueces – stewards
la bandera a cuadros – checkered flag
la lanta – tire
el choque – crash
el billete – ticket (in some parts of Latin America ticket translates as boleto, but in Spain it is billete).
In Formula 1, “team” can be translated as escudería or equipo. However, outside Formula 1, you should only use the term equipo.
la escudería – team
el equipo – team
On Your Mark!
If you ever go to the Spanish Grand Prix, remember to use these words in conversation (they’ll also work at the Mexican Grand Prix). Meanwhile, you can learn more racing vocabulary and practice it with one of our native Spanish-speaking teachers. Sign up for a free trial class and impress your fellow Spanish Formula 1 fans.
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