F1 warns Spanish GP to fix 'unacceptable' traffic issues

Formula 1 has labelled the Spanish Grand Prix's crowd management issues as "not acceptable" and has urged the local promoter to address the problem for next year.

F1 warns Spanish GP to fix 'unacceptable' traffic issues

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya announced it had been sold out for the 2022 edition of the race after going through two COVID-19 years with limited attendance, stating 300,000 flocked to the Barcelona venue across the weekend.

But soon enough it became apparent the venue was not prepared for the sell-out crowd, with larges queues forming around the limited food and drinks concessions and toilets.

Particularly on Saturday and Sunday, the severe congestion on the access roads around the circuit ground traffic to a halt, with fans then struggling to find parking space. The small Montmelo train station also struggled to transport fans to and from the city centre during peak hours.

The crowd problems were made worse by the heat, with Catalonia experiencing its hottest week of the year so far as temperatures soared above 35 degrees on the weekend, leaving many fans to brave the weather without adequate provisions.

Many fans voiced their displeasure on social media, with some even suggesting they wouldn't return for race day despite having bought a ticket.

Fans watching Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22 and Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22, on stage

Fans watching Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22 and Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22, on stage

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Hours after the race F1 released a statement calling the congestion issues "not acceptable", urging the organisers to put a plan in place to avoid a similar meltdown next year.

"The huge number of fans at this event both inside and outside the circuit created the traffic issues for the fans," an F1 statement said.

"We have made the promoter aware that this is not acceptable and must be fixed for next season."

Several parts of the Montmelo circuit had been renovated for this year, but some of its key spectator facilities have remained virtually untouched over the years.

As the site of Max Verstappen's first-ever Formula 1 win and a popular tourist destination, the Spanish GP has seen a surge of Dutch fans travelling to Catalonia in recent years.

Carlos Sainz's improved results with Ferrari and Fernando Alonso's comeback have also seen local fans find their way back to the venue, which has been hosting F1 races since its inception in 1991.

shares
comments
Ferrari: No warning of Leclerc’s "sudden" Spain F1 power unit failure
Previous article

Ferrari: No warning of Leclerc’s "sudden" Spain F1 power unit failure

Next article

Horner: It "didn't make sense" for Verstappen and Perez to fight in Spanish GP

Horner: It "didn't make sense" for Verstappen and Perez to fight in Spanish GP
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023