Mercedes have won four of the last five Spanish Grands Prix, Ferrari have won only once in the last ten years and Red Bull have the best finish rate here of any team. Here’s how the teams’ histories compare at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya!
The Mercedes team have excelled at the Spanish Grand Prix in recent years. They’ve won all but one of the last five races at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which they probably would have won, if not for their drivers eliminating one another from the race on the opening lap. Aside from that, Mercedes have recorded only two other DNFs here since their F1 comeback in 2010. The team have scored points with at least one car every year, except in 2016, and have had one car in the top five every year except in 2013 and 2016. They’ve secured 1-2 finishes at the Spanish Grand Prix in three of the last five seasons.
In the last six Barcelona races, Mercedes have failed to lock-out the front row only once, and that was in 2017 when Valtteri Bottas qualified in a ‘lowly’ third place. There’s yet to be an occasion where a Mercedes has failed to reach Q3 here, with Michael Schumacher’s tenth place in 2011, mainly due to a KERS failure which prevented him from setting a lap in Q3, being their lowest qualifying position here to date.
Ferrari are the most successful team at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with eight wins and 25 podiums, but have won only once at the track in the last ten years. They’ve finished on the podium in five of the last seven Spanish Grands Prix though, including with both cars in 2013 and 2016. The team have scored on every visit to the track, except in 2005, when Michael Schumacher retired from the race and Rubens Barrichello could finish only ninth. Kimi Raikkonen has recorded two DNFs at this track for Ferrari in the last two seasons.
Ferrari took seven poles here between 2000 and 2008, but since then have qualified on the front row only twice, with Fernando Alonso in 2012 and Sebastian Vettel in 2017. There have been only five occasions where a Ferrari has failed to qualify in the top ten here since 1991. The team have reached the final part of qualifying on every occasion bar two – Kimi Raikkonen was out in Q1 in 2009 and Felipe Massa was eliminated in Q2 in 2012.
Red Bull have taken three wins at the Spanish Grand Prix, all with different drivers. Mark Webber won for the team here in 2010, Sebastian Vettel won in the following season and Max Verstappen took his maiden Formula 1 victory at the track in 2016. A Red Bull driver has never finished as runner-up at this circuit, but they have finished in third five times, including in each of the last two seasons. 2006 is the only year where Red Bull have failed to score at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, though neither of their cars retired from the race. The team have recorded only three DNFs at the circuit – Vitantonio Liuzzi in 2005, Mark Webber in 2007 and Max Verstappen in 2017.
Mark Webber is the only driver to have taken pole for Red Bull at the Spanish Grand Prix, having done so in both 2010 and 2011. In both of those seasons, Red Bull locked-out the front row. Sebastian Vettel’s second place in qualifying in 2009 is the only other time a Red Bull car has qualified on the front row here. The team have qualified fifth and sixth in both of the last two seasons. In the past ten years, Webber’s eleventh place in 2012 is the only time a Red Bull car has failed to reach the final part of qualifying, while 2006 is the only time neither of their cars have reached Q3.
Fernando Alonso’s win at his home event in 2006 remains Renault’s only victory at the Catalunya circuit. Between 2003 and 2006, the team featured on the podium every year, but their win in 2006, when Giancarlo Fisichella also finished on the podium, is their last top three appearance at the track. 2008 is the only time Renault have recorded a double DNF at this circuit, while 2002 and 2016 are the only other two times from their 13 appearances here that they’ve failed to score. The team have scored in each of the last two seasons here, with Nico Hulkenberg finishing sixth in 2017, and Carlos Sainz seventh last season.
Just as their only win here came in 2006 so to did their only pole, with Alonso taking the honours as Fisichella helped to lock out the front row for the team. Renault have had only one other front row qualification here, which came in 2008 when Alonso lined up second on the grid. Since their return to the sport, the team have reached the final part of qualifying only once. That was last year when Sainz qualified in ninth. In all of their last four appearances at the track, Renault have suffered a Q1 exit with one of their cars.
Haas recorded their best Spanish Grand Prix result so far when Kevin Magnussen finished sixth for the team last year. From their six starts, the team have suffered two retirements at the track, both with Romain Grosjean’s car. The Frenchman also supplied the team with their only other points scoring finish at the track so far, with tenth place in 2017.
2018 saw Haas reach the final part of qualifying, with both Magnussen and Grosjean qualifying in the top ten. The team are yet to record a Q1 exit here, with both of their cars being out in Q2 in both 2016 and 2017. It was Magnussen who out-qualified Grosjean last season, giving Haas their best grid slot so far at the track with seventh.
McLaren have won at this track four times in the past, including taking three 1-2 finishes between 1998 and 2000. Since then, Kimi Raikkonen’s 2005 win has been their only victory at the circuit. More podiums followed in 2007 and 2011, with both cars, while Lewis Hamilton also took a third place for the team in 2008. Since 2011, McLaren haven’t finished in the top seven in Spain. They’ve scored in only two of the last five races at the track, and have seen one of their cars retire from the race in all of the last four years.
McLaren’s pole tally at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya would be five, if not for Lewis Hamilton’s exclusion from the result in 2012. The exclusion also means Fernando Alonso is the only driver to have qualified on the front row for the team in the past thirteen seasons, having done so in 2007. 1998 is the only year that the team have locked-out the front row at the circuit. McLaren have had one of their cars reach the final part of qualifying in all of the past three seasons, all at the hands of Fernando Alonso. 2009 and 2015 are the only seasons where neither McLaren driver has reached Q3, while Heikki Kovalainen and Stoffel Vandoorne are the only drivers to have recorded Q1 exits for the team at the track, in 2009 and 2017 respectively.
Racing Point (Force India)
Force India have scored in all of the past three Spanish Grands Prix, with Sergio Perez taking the team’s best result at the track in 2017 with a fourth place finish – which was backed up by Esteban Ocon finishing fifth. In the last seven years, 2015 is the only time that neither Force India car has scored points at the event.
Despite their strong race results, Force India’s cars have only qualified in the top ten here in three years – Paul di Resta in 2013, Perez in 2016 and both Perez and Ocon in 2017. Last year, both Force Indias were eliminated in Q2, while 2008, 2009 and 2015 are the only times the team have suffered Q1 exits, each time with both cars.
Alfa Romeo (Sauber)
Sauber’s best result at the Catalunya track is fourth, which they’ve taken four times – with Heinz-Harald Frentzen in 1996, Nick Heidfeld in 2002 and Robert Kubica in both 2007 and 2008. Sergio Perez’s retirement here in 2012 is the only time that the team have suffered a DNF at the circuit in the last eight seasons. 2002 and 2011 are the only occasions where both Sauber cars have finished in the points at the Spanish Grand Prix. The team have scored in Catalunya in each of the last two seasons – Pascal Wehrlein finished eighth in 2017, while Charles Leclerc finished tenth last season.
Robert Kubica’s fourth on the grid in 2008 is Sauber’s best qualifying result at Catalunya. It’s a track at which Sauber haven’t reached the final part of qualifying since 2012, suffering a Q1 exit with one car in every year since 2014, and seeing both cars eliminated in Q1 in 2016.
In all of their first four seasons, Toro Rosso failed to finish the Spanish Grand Prix with either car. It was only in 2010 when this bad luck streak ended, and Jaime Alguersuari finished tenth, picking up the team’s first point at the circuit. Since then, Toro Rosso have only failed to finish three times, and have scored in four of the eight races. Though they didn’t finish in the top ten in 2018, both cars finished in the points in the previous two seasons, with Carlos Sainz scoring the team’s best result so far at the track – a sixth place in 2016.
Toro Rosso have only made appearances in the final part of qualifying on two occasions at the Spanish Grand Prix. They were in 2015, when both Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz reached Q3, and in 2016, when Sainz once again qualified in the top ten. The Spaniard recorded the team’s best qualifying performance in Spain to date in 2015, when he lined up fifth on the grid. Toro Rosso have seen one of their cars eliminated in Q1 in each of the last two years.
Williams won all of the first four Spanish Grands Prix to be held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and took their most recent victory at the circuit in 2012, when Pastor Maldonado scored an unlikely win. The team haven’t scored at the track since 2016; one of only three occasions where both of their cars finished in the points at the track. Bruno Senna’s retirement in 2012, when Michael Schumacher collided with him, is the only time a Williams car has failed to finish the race here in the last ten years.
Williams locked-out the front row at the Spanish Grand Prix in 1993, 1996 and 1997 and took further front row starts in 2004 and 2005. Their most recent pole at the track came in 2012, with Maldonado inheriting the spot after Lewis Hamilton’s exclusion. Williams recorded a double Q1 exit at Catalunya for only the second time in 2018, the other occasion being in 2013. 2014 and 2015 are the only years where both cars have reached the final part of qualifying at the circuit, while at least one of their cars have been out in Q1 in every season since then.
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.