There have been 11 Safety Car periods at the Spanish Grand Prix. Nine of those have been full Safety Car periods, while two have been VSC periods. All but three of the full Safety Car periods have occurred on the opening lap of the race. Here’s a list of every time that the Safety Car has been deployed in the Spanish Grand Prix!
2003 Spanish Grand Prix, Lap 1
The Safety Car did not make its first appearance at the Spanish Grand Prix until 2003. The call out occurred right at the very start of the race. Antonio Pizzonia failed to get away from his grid position due to a launch control issue. Unsighted, Kimi Raikkonen – the championship leader, who had started from the back of the grid – collided with the Jaguar car, eliminating both drivers from the race.
Further around the lap, at Turn 1, Jarno Trulli was involved in a separate collision, which likely would have necessitated its own Safety Car period.
2005 Spanish Grand Prix, Lap 1
At the start of the 2005 Spanish Grand Prix, both Minardi drivers failed to start after stalling on the grid. With Chistijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher’s cars stranded in their grid slots, the Safety Car was called out as the cars could not be cleared from the grid before the remaining cars reached the end of the opening lap.
2008 Spanish Grand Prix, Lap 1
On the first lap of the 2008 Spanish Grand Prix, Adrian Sutil was sent into a spin following a collision with the Red Bull of David Coulthard at Turn 3. Sutil would have been able to carry on but was hit by Sebastian Vettel. Incredibly, that marked the Toro Rosso driver’s third first lap retirement in the first four races of the season. The Safety Car was deployed as the two stricken cars were cleared away.
2008 Spanish Grand Prix, Lap 23
A front left tyre deflation saw Heikki Kovalainen leave the track at high speed and collide into the tyre barriers on Lap 22. The Finnish driver was lucky to escape unhurt in the incident. The Safety Car was deployed as the McLaren was extricated from underneath the tyre barriers. This was the first time that the Safety Car was called out after Lap 1 at the Spanish Grand Prix.
2009 Spanish Grand Prix, Lap 1
Another first lap Safety Car deployment at the Spanish Grand Prix occurred in 2009 when four cars were eliminated in a collision through the chicane. Kickstarted by the Toyota of Jarno Trulli running through the gravel and rejoining the track, Adrian Sutil was eliminated when the pair made contact. Behind them, Sebastien Bourdais ran into the back of Toro Rosso team-mate Sebastien Buemi, eliminating them both from the race.
2016 Spanish Grand Prix, Lap 1
The first Safety Car deployment at the Spanish Grand Prix in seven years came on the opening lap of the 2016 race, when the two Mercedes drivers famously collided at Turn 3. Both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were eliminated on the spot, paving the way for Max Verstappen to become F1’s youngest ever winner later in the afternoon.
2017 Spanish Grand Prix, Lap 34
The first VSC deployment at the Spanish Grand Prix occurred in the 2017 race. It was called following a collision at Turn 1 between Stoffel Vandoorne and Felipe Massa. The McLaren and Williams made contact, breaking Vandoorne’s suspension and leaving him stranded at the first corner.
2018 Spanish Grand Prix, Lap 1
On the opening lap of the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean spun mid-pack, resulting in the retirements of himself and two other cars. Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly were the unlucky duo who were caught up in the chaos.
2018 Spanish Grand Prix, Lap 41
Esteban Ocon pulled off the circuit with a smoking engine on the 41st lap of the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix, leading to a VSC period.
2019 Spanish Grand Prix, Lap 46
On the 46th lap of the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix, Lando Norris and Lance Stroll collided through the first chicane. Both drivers were out of the race as a result and the Safety Car was deployed.
2021 Spanish Grand Prix, Lap 8
Stopping at Turn 10 with an engine failure, Yuki Tsunoda caused the Safety Car to be deployed for its only outing during the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix.