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Circuito de Jerez

Formula 1 circuit

Circuito de Jerez
Credit: LAT
Vital statistics for Circuito de Jerez
CircuitCircuito de Jerez
LocationJerez de la Frontera
Race debut1986

The Jerez circuit has been the site of an official F1 Grand Prix, in the 1990s, but dropped off the calendar after upsetting Bernie Ecclestone by breaking podium protocol. More recently it plays host to test sessions throughout the season. It's a mainstay of the pre-season testing schedule, although complaints have sprung up in recent years about it's worth - a difficult surface for tyres and not one similar to any races during the season.

F1 history

Jerez has been part of the Formula One world since the 1980s. It first opened in 1985, and catered for motorcycle racing until the first F1 Spanish Grand Prix in April 1986. The track hosted the Spanish race for five years, before the remote location forced the sport towards Barcelona instead. In its place, Jerez was granted the European Grand Prix in 1994 and 1997, with Mika Häkkinen winning the final F1 race at the track.

Part of the reason for the track's withdrawal from the calendar came from a mess up of the podium ceremony at that final race. Bernie Ecclestone takes his podium etiquette seriously, and when the local Mayor handed out the trophy that was meant to be given by someone else, he didn't think twice before moving on. Jerez has not been on the calendar since, but remains a significant location for Formula One testing.

In recent years, with testing at a premium, teams have raised concerns about the viability of continuing to test at Jerez. The track surface can be difficult on the tyres, and doesn't provide relevant data for the rest of the season. Pre-season testing has instead focused on Barcelona and Bahrain, but Jerez continues to host motorcycle racing and more.