Back to the Base – Catalunya
Catalunya circuit is the most familiarised track for any F1 team as they have early had pre-season tests twice before the season has begun and it is where the cars have first ran under new regulations which limited the blown diffuser.
Set-up can play a big part in defining the race as it has been well calculated already, even a slight chance of it can payback hard. It is a mix up of everything a track can offer – from fast to slow and medium corners with good flow up and down the hill and bit of a bumpy ride in sector 2; not to mention the direction changes.
It is apparently an open-circuit so wind and track temperature influences the car balance. Five fast corners with T1 being the ideal spot for overtaking as it is the longest straight in the all of the calendar. Pirelli’s tyre choice is the first of the season bringing hard and soft range of tyres together.
As the track gets abrasive over the weekend, no wonder why they have chosen it. Particularly the layout limits the front axle especially front left tyre so perfect balance can put you in the right spot.
Qualifying will be as intense as the track is less known for overtaking and keeping it right will enable a serene race, if not, it will be a dodgy, messed up, stuck-on-traffic weekend. Teams and drivers go in to the weekend on a comprehensive note that if you get it right in Barcelona it will set the European season alight.
Major updates can be seen on Friday on the busy pit road as teams look to thrive hoping for a change of luck. Turn 3 and 9 are fast corners; first sector demand more aerodynamics and final sector slows up the fury down. The pecking order may well come so closer in the race.
SPANISH GP STATISTICS :
Circuit de Catalunya hosts the annual Spanish Grand Prix of 2012.
Some fascinating statistics leading up to the race are as follows:
Spanish Grand Prix took place at various venues around Spain notably Jarma, Montjuďc, Jerez and Catalunya. Catalunya is the home for F1 since 1991.
Most wins : Michael Schumacher (6)
Most consecutive wins : Michael Schmacher (2001-2004)
Most races won by constructor : Ferrari (11)
Most poles : Michael Schumacher (6)
Fastest Lap : 1:15.641 Giancarlo Fisichella 2005(Catalunya)
Since 1997 the driver on pole had gone on to win the race – odd one being 2011 season
Only driver on the grid other than Schumacher who had won here more than once was Kimi Raikkonen (2005 & 2008)
Among the six world champions Lewis Hamilton was the only driver never won at Spain
Since 1981 Mark Webber and Felipe Massa were the only two non-world champions stood on the top step of the podium
Two Spanish drivers have won the Spanish Grand Prix; Carlos de Salamanca in 1923 and Alonso in 2006
Last victory for the immortal Gilles Villeneuve and also one of his finest as he fended off four cars in his incompetent Ferrari
Only victory for Jochen Mass in his career and Lella Lombardi became the first and only woman to score points in that tragic race of 1975
In 1986 at the Spanish GP (Jerez) Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell finished side by side, just 0.014sec separating them – one of the closest finishes ever recorded in F1
Author: Suren F1
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