Going to 2017 Pre-Season Testing at Barcelona
23rd January 2017, 16:45 at 4:45 pm #334411
I’m not sure if there’s already a thread for this but I’m getting a lot of crashes today when scrolling through the forums so thought I’d set one up just in case there isn’t one. Feel free to move or merge this if required.
I’ve been to Circuit de Catalunya for pre-season testing for the previous 2 years, always booking a hospitality package via JDC Promotions which gives access to a box over the pitlane, and a really good view of the cars when they pull in to the garages below.
This year we’re doing the same but staying downtown instead of near the circuit. Now we’re more familiar with Barcelona’s public transport system we plan to get the train to Montmelo and then a taxi to the circuit. Getting a taxi from the station should be simple, but does anyone know how to get a taxi back to the station at the end of the day? I’m sure there’ll be some waiting at the circuit, or we can phone for one, but I’m wondering where the pick-up place is and what time it closes on test days.
If no-one knows, no worries, I’ll contact the circuit and hope there isn’t a language barrier.31st January 2017, 12:44 at 12:44 pm #334651
Yes mate we went last year on Tues & Wed, a taxi out is certainly easier than on race day, where you will need a switch-blade knife!
As you leave the paddock/pits and head downstairs when you get to the road at the T-junction, head left up hill. (If you head right and are walking downhill under an overpass, head back). Go past the F1 statue (Silver F1 car, Fangio maybe) and its about 100-150m up on the left hand side, its 5min from paddock entry, easy as.
Also if you are above the pits head down into the Paddock, there is very little security and you will see a driver or two. There will be a few empty garages from where FIA have taken their equipment and you can walk through to the pit lane and see the cars come in and get some great shots. Its all apart of it, as long as you don’t do something stupid and jump out in front of a car they are happy to let you get pretty close- have fun!31st January 2017, 18:32 at 6:32 pm #334663
Thanks EH, that’s very helpful.
We’ve been able to wander through the paddock on both visits, and it’s been fascinating to see the technical goings-on as well as spotting lots of familiar faces. I’m looking forward to my first F1 fix for 2017.16th March 2017, 20:19 at 8:19 pm #337757
Just to feed back after our trip, we had quite a long wait for a taxi from Montmelo station to the circuit, in the morning. There was some some spectacular queue jumping. Taxis do eventually turn up if you don’t have a booking, but you may have to wait a while. I’ll try to pre-book a cab next year.
We tried to direct the driver to the “in4” car park which is where we’d have been allowed to park (if we’d been self-driving). He took us to the accreditation centre instead, which is where you collect the hospitality passes. As we already had our passes we didn’t need to go there, so I asked him to take us to the paddock and he knew immediately where to go. We were dropped off at the mini-roundabout just by the paddock and piso box entrance (between “in2” and “in3” on this map: http://f1destinations.com/tickets-spanish-f1-grand-prix/spanish-grand-prix-circuit-map/). This is also where we were directed at the end of the day, when we had an approx ten minutes wait for a cab. As we drove off we passed the “in4” car park up the hill from the mini roundabout; several taxis were parked there, so next year we’ll just walk up there instead of waiting at the roundabout.
Taking the train to and from Montmelo was simple. We used a 10-strip 2-zone ticket that covered the four of us there and back, with 2 trips to spare. The train trip cost less than 2.50 euros each, return from central Barcelona. The taxis cost around 11 euros each way.
It’s a great experience; I highly recommend it. We had around 25 minutes in the paddock, a bus tour of the circuit while the cars were on track, a pitwalk at lunchtime, and access to whatever parts of the circuit were open. The best views of the pit straight were from the roof of the hospitality building.
Food and drink is included in the piso box entry price; it was pretty good and very plentiful.
If you keep your eyes open you get to see a lot of familiar faces.
The cars are louder this year than last. I needed earplugs towards the end of the day to prevent pain.17th March 2017, 12:51 at 12:51 pm #337762
Good stuff mate, glad you had a great time.
So the Piso Box has limited Paddock access?
Last year we were with RBR so lunch in the Motorhome, garage tour, meet n greet Dan & Max a few days after the race (one more happy than the other) so great, but pricey. Piso seems a lot more reasonable.
Last year we had a guy from FOM take us around the access road and stopped to take photos, very cool & probably the same as what you did. That’s good to do as normally at races you get limited to you viewing and corners, that’s what makes testing so good as well.
And also the relaxed atmosphere, its so much better! If anyone has been to Melbourne you will know how intense security is like- its easy to get past though, ask “who is in charge here?” and they argue so much you walk right by (true LOL).
Would love a few days testing in Melbourne pre-race as well!18th March 2017, 12:28 at 12:28 pm #337779
Yes, the Piso boxes have limited paddock access. I’m not sure how the paddock passes are allocated, but when I’ve been in a small box managed just by JDC itself we were allowed a couple of visits throughout the day, and in the bigger box that JDC customers shared with others this year it was a more formal arrangement where you booked a timeslot. I suppose it might have been possible to blag another visit if there were spare slots.
The views down into the paddock from the Piso box balconies are excellent; you can see (and get decent photos) of drivers walking from the garage to the paddock and doing media interviews. We also got good views down onto the front of the garages, with several drivers and team principals wandering past. Zak Brown, patiently waiting for the McLaren to be brought back on the truck of shame, was good photo material.
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