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Drive into Europe for the 2013 Driver’s F1 Championship

With not too long to go until the 2013 Formula 1 season kicks off down under – the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne being the first race of the year scheduled for Sunday March 17th 2013 – why not drive into Europe, straight off the ferry, to enjoy the excitement up close? There are plenty of venues throughout Europe (and indeed, worldwide – including the USA, South America Asia and Australia) and throughout the year from March to November.

Spanish GP – Barcelona

After the first green light, the tour then moves on to Malaysia, China, and Bahrain before arriving in Barcelona for the first of many European races. The Spanish Grand Prix is to be held Sunday 12th of May 2013 at the Circuit de Catalunya located 12 miles northeast of Barcelona itself in the small town of Montmelo.

The Catalan capital makes a big deal of the race; Fernando Alonso is a local hero and like every venue on the calendar prices are at a premium when Bernie Eccleston and his buddies come to town. For this reason making the trip a bit of a sporting adventure in itself and backpacking or camping as part of the trip should be a fun option. This might also help if spending money on a ticket to view some of the practice and qualifying sessions or other supporting events.

The City Attractions

The beauty of attending the Spanish Grand Prix is that it is held close to a major cosmopolitan city with over five million inhabitants, and like everywhere in Spain the locals like to party staying out till the sun comes up, and not starting until well after the race winner’s champagne has gone!

People come to Barcelona from all over the world to admire the work of famed Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi and his modernism masterpieces like the still unfinished Sagrada Familia.

Another highlight is simply to ramble down Las Ramblas while watching street performers ply their trade on what used to be a bird market where families would go on a Sunday to pick out a song bird for their balcony.

Barcelona is the complete package with excellent food almost everywhere you go along with prices that will not break the bank – unlike some other major cities in Europe – and do not expect to see the sunburned Brits with beer bellies and a pint of lager in their hand like you would on the Costa’s in Torremolinos and Benidorm.

The people of Barcelona take pride in their city, and like to think that they are on the cutting edge of style that you can see in a new trend of rooftop cocktail bars that have opened up recently.

There is also unique shopping to be had in the narrow streets of the Barri Gòtic that lead to the designer labels in the Passeig de Gracia at the top end of Las Ramblas.

Nestled on the Sun drenched Mediterranean coast of northeastern Spain there are plenty of opportunities to spend a day at the beach as well with one of the favorites a short train ride from Barcelona’s main railway station Sants to what many people call the St. Tropez of Spain due to the price of property, and the jet-set who hang out there the quaint seaside town of Sitges is the perfect place to soak up some Spanish sun.

The Race Weekend

If you choose not to drive yourself, the train is a convenient way to get to and from the racetrack with the national railway company Renfe putting on extra trains for the three-day event that also leave from Sants station.

It is possible to drive your car to the Circuit de Catalunya where they have parking for 32,000 cars, but with over 100,000 race fans together with people just going about their daily lives it is much easier to make your way around the city using their excellent public transport system.

If you want to attend a Formula 1 race this coming season the race meet in Barcelona is hard to beat, and with almost perfect weather guaranteed you are bound to have a an unbelievable holiday.

Following the Spanish Grand Prix in May other European races include those on the street circuit of Monaco at the end of the month and – after the British Grand Prix at the end of June at Silverstone – Germany, Hungary Belgium and Italy are all convenient for a po ferries journey for a sports and culture enthusiast – plus a few friends and family members!

This article was written by David Chancey on behalf of P&O Ferries. The information and views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of the company.