The Spanish Grand Prix

The Grand Prix of Spain 2006
The Gran Premio de España, better known as the Spanish Grand Prix, is an annual Formula o­ne race currently held at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. The race has been held in many different locations over the years, and dates back to the very beginning years of auto racing.

The first ever Spanish Grand Prix was held in 1913, and races continued intermediately in the years after. International conflict, a crashing global economy, and the Spanish Civil War put an end to the race in the 1930s, but it was restarted in the 1950s as a street race in the Pedralbes neighborhood of Barcelona. Pedestrian safety concerns put an end to the Pedralbes race after two years.

The Grand Prix then alternated between racetracks in Barcelona and Madrid, with a brief stint in Jerez in the 1980s. The race was permanently moved to the newly built Circuit de Catalunya in 1991, and is generally held in the early part of the Formula o­ne season, in late April or early May.

The Circuit de Catalunya is an exhausting track for even the most experienced driver, due to the mixture of high and low speed corners and an especially abrasive track surface. For this reason, many Formula o­ne teams perform also test runs and practice at the track year-round. Famed German driver Michael Schumacher holds the record for most wins at the Spanish Gran Prix with six, while Finnish driver Kimi Räikkönen holds the track's lap record, set in 2008. The race has received a surge in popularity in recent years due to the success of Spanish native Fernando Alonso, who has put in several strong performances at the track, winning the Grand Prix in 2006.