Some Formula One fans attending the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday at Barcelona's Montmeló circuit were given a surprise just before the big race began: the Montmeló organisers played the Catalan national anthem Els segadors over the PA system, which was greeted with whistling by some spectators in the main stands. The Spanish national anthem was also played, but in the shortened version commonly used for events of this type.
Although it's not the first time the Catalan anthem has been played at Montmeló, some social media users didn't hesitate to vent their dislike about what they heard at the Formula One circuit:
Tras lo ocurrido este fin de semana en Montmeló, creo que es hora de devolver el Gran Premio de España a Jerez @fia @marianorajoy— have Solo (@Josdibla) 13 of May 2018
Translation: After what has happened this weekend at Montmeló, I think it's time to return the Spanish Grand Prix to Jerez.
Que a partir de 2019 se haga el premio donde cuando suene solo el himno del país anfitrión no sea problema, Jerez, Madrid, lo que sea, si Montmelo le acaban de pavimentar que se lo coman. Se fue La Caixa y otros, la F1 también#ESPmovistarF1— Angeles Sierra (@AngelesSierra6) 13 of May 2018
From 2019 on, they should hold the Grand Prix somewhere where playing the national anthem of the host country isn't a problem, Jerez, Madrid, wherever. If they have just resealed Montmeló, too bad for them. La Caixa [bank] and others have left, Formula 1 should do so as well.
Qué en la carrera del mundial de Fórmula 1 de Montmeló suene el himno de España, normal, lo que no es normal es que después pongan el himno catalán, quien es el culpable?— Julio gomez (@Juliogo78610294) 13 of May 2018
Translation: At the Formula 1 World Championship race at Montmeló it's normal for the Spanish anthem to be played, what isn't normal is that after that, they play the Catalan anthem. Whose fault is this?
BOCHORNOSO momento cuando ha sonado el himno de Cataluña en Montmeló. El himno que tiene que sonar es únicamente el del país. Así se hace en todos los circuitos. Patético #SpanishGP #ESPmovistarF1— Pablo (@PabloFlcn1) 13 of May 2018
Disgraceful moment when the Catalan anthem was played at Montmeló. The only anthem that must be played is that of the country. That's what they do at all race circuits. Pathetic.
Yo esperando que termine el himno de Cataluña en Montmeló @F1 #Formula1 pic.twitter.com/YdrnGrPytb— @pulgarcita (@rguez_cristina) 13 of May 2018
Me, waiting for the Catalan national anthem to end at Montmeló.
In May last year, the playing of the Catalan anthem also created controversy at the circuit. Journalist Antonio Lobato sent a tweet before the F-1 race criticising that before the race the Catalan anthem was heard. Lobato said that Formula One Management (FOM), the company that manages the premier motor racing series, does not usually allow these things.