Formula 1 roadshow planned for Barcelona city center ahead of Grand Prix in June

Environmentalists ask to prevent "absurd" event on Passeig de Gràcia boulevard over air pollution concern

A Formula One Grand Prix event at Montmeló, Catalonia
A Formula One Grand Prix event at Montmeló, Catalonia / Circuit de Catalunya

Ona Van Dyck Colomer | Barcelona

April 7, 2024 11:10 AM

April 7, 2024 11:27 AM

Barcelona is to host a Formula One roadshow ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix in June to promote the race.  

F1 cars will drive along Passeig de Gràcia boulevard in the city center, past Art Nouveau landmarks, such as Gaudí's Casa Batlló. The wide avenue allows enough space for the drivers to do donuts and for spectators to watch the spectacle. 

There will also be a Fan Village installed in Plaça Catalunya, at the bottom of Passeig de Gràcia. The site will accommodate a stage, fan zone and food and drink stands. 

One of the teams that has announced they will be present in the Fan Village is Williams, whose drivers are Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant. Whether the drivers will be the ones driving the cars is not yet known. 

Excitement and criticism 

"I think it's wonderful, it adds another side to such a beautiful city," an American tourist told Catalan News. 


Andrea, an Italian tourist adds: "I find it charming actually, I find it very interesting, a different concept, and my father thinks so too. I live in Milan, so I would really love to see the track or where it could be." 

Julien from Paris is a Formula One fan and would love to see such an event in his own city: "I think it would be amazing having F1 come to Paris. We already have the Formula E championship, which is great, but F1 in Paris would be the best." 

But not everyone is enthusiastic about the possibility of such an event in their city.  

Jorge Garin told Catalan News he doesn't "really care about Formula One. I wouldn't care if they came to my city, I think it's a sport that doesn't have much participation. It has its supporters and it's a world of its own, I never really related to it." 

Air pollution concerns 

Eixample Respira, an organization battling air pollution in the Eixample neighbourhood, where Passeig de Gràcia boulevard is situated, is asking the Formula One roadshow to be canceled, calling it "absurd" on X, formerly Twitter. 

Environmentalists say that citizens are "suffering from a public health crisis caused by poor air quality and noise," a statement reads. 

"It is absurd to plan a Formula One exhibition in the city centre, where thousands of people live, many of them are particularly vulnerable to the effects of pollution," they added. 

Madrid and Barcelona? 

The Spanish Grand Prix will take place every year on Circuit de Catalunya, north of Barcelona, until 2026. 

In January, Formula One announced that the Spanish Grand Prix will be held in Madrid from 2026 to 2035. An agreement was reached with IFEMA Madrid to build a new circuit, incorporating street and non-street sections. 

The Catalan government said they were continuing negotiations over extending the contract with F1 for the Circuit de Catalunya.