F1 fans furious. Spaniards apologize for terrible organization

Traffic chaos and huge queues – Catalonia’s track couldn’t handle the 300,000. fans last weekend. Formula 1 has already criticized the organizers of the Spanish GP, and they have announced that they will draw conclusions from the huge setback.

Lukasz Kuczera

Catalunya Circuit in Barcelona

Press material / Pirelli Media / Pictured: Catalunya track in Barcelona

The organizers of the Spanish GP have sold all tickets for the last Formula 1 race and in three days the Catalunya facility in Barcelona was visited by some 300,000 people. people. However, it soon became apparent that the promoters were not prepared for the turnout success. Over the weekend, social media was flooded with negative comments and fans pointed out the Spanish mishaps.

Getting on the track alone turned out to be a problem, because the metro to Montmelo, where the track is located, was overcrowded and the train station there could not handle the influx of people. To enter the facility you had to stand in a huge line. The situation was similar later on, if you wanted to go to the toilet or buy something to drink, you had to wait in line for at least several tens of minutes.

F1 bosses have already criticized the Spanish GP organizers for shortcomings and called for improvements in the 2023 season. The organizers are also beating themselves up. Josep Lluis Santamaria, who manages the Catalunya circuit, admitted his mistakes. One of the greatest sins is to underestimate the number of spectators that could already appear in the stands on Friday.

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– It was the Grand Prix with the third best attendance in the history of this race. Our railway informed that 75 thousand. people used her trains to get on the tracks. It’s about 26 percent. all fans. This is double the number of the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix, the last before the pandemic. At the time, so many people were not using the railroad, Santamaria told motorsport.com.

– We estimate that about 25,000 will come to the stands on Friday. people, and there were 54 thousand. To serve so many fans, you have to work in many areas. We are already working with various departments in the city to better serve the fans in the future. We understand the fans’ inconvenience. Some of them had no problems, but there were also those who hit huge traffic jams – added Santamaria.

According to the Spaniards, the enormous heat that hit Barcelona last weekend also contributed to the queues at the eateries. The average temperature was around 35 degrees. – There were already queues on Friday, so on Saturday we increased the number of points. We opened 45 additional stands. For the first time, we were also allowed to take tourist coolers with drinks up to 1.5 liters. We also did not unscrew the caps, which is usually done at sports facilities – explained the headline of the Catalunya track.

“It is possible that the water bottles were missing at certain points, but they were refilled throughout the day. Other drinks were also available. We can’t control the temperature, Santamaria concluded.

The Spanish GP currently has a contract with F1 until the end of the 2026 season, so the organizers will have to prove themselves if they want to stay on the motorsport queen’s calendar.

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