We exist to beat dementia

Spanish Grand Prix 2023: F1 Excitement Meets Dementia Awareness


Hear what people affected by dementia have to say about Race Against Dementia
The stopwatch is ticking. The race is on

Sir Jackie Stewart OBE

Get ready for a KERS-boosted Spanish Grand Prix, at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Race Against Dementia is here, mixing high-octane race thrills and highly important cause: driving dementia awareness and raising funds in the process.

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has a blend of high- and low-speed corners, with a particularly challenging Turn 3. It’s one reason why the circuit is the season precursor – F1’s collective testbed as new car designs are properly evaluated for the first time. Every component, surface and reaction is assessed as the start of the season beckons.

Even though this is the seventh race of the season – with points at stake – teams have returned to Catalonia with testing in mind once again. The Spanish Grand Prix is an opportunity to thoroughly examine a tranche of technical upgrades on track and at race distance. Teams have been hard at work during race weekends and back at their factories. Every car has evolved through a combination of original thinking and designs inspired by competitor teams. 

The pace and precision parallels the work of Dr Maura Malpetti, a Race Against Dementia Fellow and dementia researcher at University of Cambridge. Maura examines biomarkers – unique biological indicators – to unravel the complexities of dementia progression. Just as F1 teams constantly refine their cars, Maura’s detailed analysis helps develop more effective dementia treatments, step-by-step.

Race Against Dementia Pull Quote

“We have identified novel and innovative markers for dementia-related brain changes”

“When an F1 car is tested on track, all parts of the car are assessed. What works well together and what needs to be tweaked for better performance overall. Here in Barcelona, the engineers will scrutinise every aspect, looking for signals that they have found to be the best indicators for ultimate success during the race and during the season.”

I use key signals and indicators in my dementia research too. We have identified novel and innovative markers for dementia-related brain changes and are now testing them rigorously. Brain scans and blood tests help us identify targets for new treatments, while pinpointing the right timeframe to intervene to slow down, stop and hopefully prevent dementia.” ~ Dr Maura Malpetti, Race Against Dementia Fellow, University of Cambridge

Just as Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a crucial testing platform for F1 cars, Race Against Dementia encourages constant innovation and agility – our researchers swiftly pivot according to new information and new challenges. Our five-year fellowships provide researchers like Maura with the security to take measured risks, fostering breakthroughs and explorations into new areas of dementia research. With the fight against dementia being a race against time, this adaptive and forward-thinking strategy is more crucial than ever.

Adding to the excitement of the race weekend, Race Against Dementia Ambassador Mark Stewart will also be championing the race against dementia. Mark’s film, Stewart, is a testament to both his parents: Lady Helen Stewart – the family’s rock and Sir Jackie Stewart – not just on the racetrack but as a campaigner, someone prepared to go against the grain to make progress. First motorsport safety. Then dyslexia. And now the race against dementia. Sir Jackie may have raced his last Formula 1 race fifty years ago, but he never retired.

You can join our race here and sign up to our latest updates. There is also still time to bid for your Ferrari Trento podium bottle signed by the top three drivers at the Spanish Grand Prix. Spanish citizens can now support Race Against Dementia through our European Giving Platform.

There are lots of ways you can support us. In doing so, you can make a huge difference to research, join the race today.

Help us in the race against dementia

Raise money for much needed research and help us to beat dementia by joining the Race.


Dementia impacts memory, thinking and behaviour and includes several types of cognitive decline, such as Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia and Lewy body dementia.


The Race Against Dementia Fellowship Programme funds and supports the world’s most promising scientific talent. We back promising research projects that will accelerate progress towards a cure and treatment.


In this Memories series, our founder Sir Jackie Stewart OBE discusses memories of a remarkable life in motorsport, business and beyond.


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