F1 Grand Prix Preview: Spain

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2015 FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA PIRELLI 2015

ROUND 5

Date: 10th May

Circuit name: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

First Grand Prix: 1991

Type: Permanent purpose-built race track. Variety of fast, medium and slow corners.

Circuit length: 4.655km

Laps: 66

Lap Record: 1: 21: 670 (Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari F2008; 2008)

Tyre Allocation: Medium (white rimmed) and hard (dusty orange rimmed)

DRS Zones: Two with separate detection points (Pit Straight and between Turns Nine and 10).

FORMULA 1 - Spain GP

2014

 

Pole: Lewis Hamilton (1:25.232)

Winner: Lewis Hamilton

Fastest Lap: 1:28.918 on lap 5 (S. Vettel)

 

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

Bonjour, helló, ciao, hallo and of course, hola from Spain. Barcelona gives you the warmest greetings and welcomes you back to Formula One’s birthplace – Europe. Home of tapas food, beautiful beaches, rich musical culture and of course, the famous Gaudi architecture.  La Sagrada Familia standing tall above Barcelona, the famous melting church designed by Gaudi is still yet to be finished. This sounds like the story to another particular Spaniard. Coming to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend is Fernando Alonso. He too still has “unfinished business” with McLaren as he returns to his native land with a car dressed in new predatory and dynamic colours.

This track is praised for its variety of slow, medium and fast corners and it is said that if you are quick here, you will be quick anywhere. It is familiar territory for the teams as they arrived here in the early months of this year to complete their preseason testing. Its long curvy corners are usually hard on tyres making wear management a vital skill for this round of F1. Sector One is all about momentum. Planning your breaking perfectly, making sure you hug the apexes as the track weaves quickly to the right, to the left and then right again. Get this part right and the drivers sling themselves into a slower part of the track in Sector Two. Traveling downhill into a bowl like arena of turns, having strong entries and exits are important. The cars exit this vaguely technical pit and move on into Sector Three where the cars are most affected by the invisible and unpredictable winds. Being the slowest part of the track, it is also the most technical. Relying mostly on mechanical grip, having a good feel for the car is paramount.

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What to expect

 

Ferrari are forever edging closer to Mercedes come every Grand Prix. Out of the Scuderia’s duo, Kimi Raikkonen has been the most successful in Spain. Upgrades to their aero and engine the red team should be able to challenge Mercedes at a fairly convincing level. Their tyre management and ability to adapt to the heat should play in their favour.

As for Red Bull, their snub-nose should hopefully thrust them further towards the Williams cars. They appear to be confident in their cars improvement, but it is the Renault engines that are the height of their concerns. Williams aim to close the gap to Ferrari, but admit that the difference in budget is becoming quite apparent out on track.

The rest of the top ten is less predictable. Nasr’s comments certainly haven’t allowed fans to keep their faith in the Banco du Brasil sponsored cars as their performance does not seem likely to be as impressive as it has been. You can be sure to see a healthy Toro Rosso team, but their engine woes will be there biggest enemy this weekend. Dark horses, Lotus and McLaren should be at the lower end of the top ten, battling it out for the final points on the grid come race day.

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About dphansen24

I am an avid freelance Formula 1 writer and blogger. My writings are diverse and range from historical insights, to thorough and exciting analysis of the modern era and the topics that come with it. I am also able to take in requests from readers that wish to gain vision into particular stories. All are welcome. I encourage constructive criticism and conversation in comments or via email. My passion for the world’s fastest show consumes my daily efforts and I am always enthused to write about the sport I love most. Even as a pundit, I too have a curiosity and am always ready to learn more about an ever expanding sport.

Posted on May 7, 2015, in Grand Prix in Preview and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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