May 24 - Circuit boss Jose Luis Santamaria has apologised to spectators for the chaos that unfolded during last weekend's 2022 Spanish GP.

One Twitter user summed up the chaos by stating: "I have never seen such poor organisation at a Formula 1 race.

"People were shaking and fainting, waiting an hour for a bottle of water."

Indeed, in the Barcelona sun, organisers at the Circuit de Catalunya struggled to cope with the high spectator numbers - about 100,000 per day.

On social media, fans complained about long travel times of up to 5 hours for the 30km trip from the city, insufficient food and drink supplies and other general frustration.

In an official note to the circuit from F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, Barcelona was told that there are "things to improve" for 2023 and beyond.

"Our team and yours need to work on some incidents related to traffic management and other minor issues to prepare a plan that will allow the 2023 event to be even more successful," Domenicali added.

Track boss Santamaria admitted there were unforseen problems due to the higher than expected spectator attendance numbers particularly on Friday and Saturday.

He said those numbers were "well above the normal".

"Normally on a Friday, 18,000 people come," Santamaria added. "We thought it could be 25,000 this time but it was double that."

He said organisers made some changes after Friday night, including more food and drink outlets and an extra order of 130,000 bottles of water.

Santamaria admitted that the public transport chaos was the worst aspect but insisted: "It is inevitable that there will be some chaos when a sporting event mobilises so many people.

"But I put myself in the shoes of the fans who suffered these problems and I apologise."


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12 F1 Fan comments on “Catalunya circuit boss apologises to fans for total chaos

  1. Jere Jyrälä

    I’m still surprised how the Montmelo circuit was totally unprepared for a sellout or generally well-attended event & thus didn’t take any precautionary measures.
    From memory & knowledge, nothing similar has happened in Montmelo before like with Circuit Paul Ricard in its comeback season or Silverstone & Spa in the distant past, etc.

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  2. Susan

    There can be no excuses for this. This is not Barcelona’s first GP. They had other rac GPS to see the fan base has increased measurably since COVID.

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  3. ReallyOldRacer

    Hey, too many people is a good problem to have. Can't control the weather, and ingress-egress has always been a problem at many tracks. Perhaps we fans have become a bit spoiled. Provide your own food and drink and plan on a traffic kerfuffle. Silverstone has the same challenges (well, maybe not the heat :) ) and the fans just keep on coming. Why, because they are race FANS, not just event attendees. Croissant with that latte, sir? sheesh.

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  4. Oldtwit

    Let's blame Bernnie.... he started the cost's going up and picked the food outlets long ago, has it changed is it still F1 making the profits on those sort of things not the circuits??
    It seems that we ( not me ) have been suckered in to only buying what you want at the venue whatever the sport is theses days and have to pay the inflated prices that get charged to cover all the profits that have to be made for doing little more that making a phone call to book a slot.Take a picnic make a day of it and enjoy what you like. Iy's just like the airports in the UK buy duty free????? it's cheeper in the local supermarket even with duty.

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  5. Susan

    I don’t know about all sporting events in Europe, but in the states, the costs of food and drink is astronomical. Between the tickets and the food, watching at home is far superior and a whole cheaper. Plus you see more of the event. We found that true going to COTA.

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    • ReallyOldRacer

      Great observation, Susan. Used to be if you wanted to know what was happening, go to the event. Now, unless you thrive on the in-person rush, stay home and enjoy the usually superior coverage. With motor racing, you have a view of the entire track rather than only your vantage point. Big reason why promoters need to make a show of it, ie COTA. Another plug for Monaco, it is already an 'event'...no need for more hype. Note that this weekend is the first of the year in the US that ESPN is blasting FULL coverage on the big channels.

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  6. Susan

    I don’t know the coverage in Europe but here in the states, nbc sports with David Hobbs and Will Buxton we're the best. Espn is the worst sports channel no matter what they cover. Martin Brundle has to be on LHs payroll, he only cares about what is happening with Lewis. He throws some crumbs at LeClerc when he thinks about it.. He hates Verstappen and chokes when he is forced to say something about him. Crofty, I’m sure is a very nice man, but his talents would better be served calling a horse race. Just my humble opinion.

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    • Swede

      Loved Hobbs and Buxton! I like Crofty as well. Button is great too.

      Not sure why you dislike Brindle? I think he gives us a keen insight on the track, but he should just focus on team managers urign the grid walk (no silly DJs and such).

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