Unexpected developments with the coronavirus pandemic aside, it is now clear that the Spanish Grand Prix at the...
Spanish Grand Prix
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Spanish Grand Prix
Winter testing in Barcelona is still is fresh in the memory when Formula 1 is back on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the second time of the year. This time it’s for the Spanish Grand Prix, however, the first race of the Formula 1’s European tour and the fifth Grand Prix of the season. With its balance of many turns and few straights, it’s a track where Mercedes have proven extremely successful in recent years.
The 2021 Spanish Grand Prix
The circuit in Montmelo (just outside of Barcelona) has been the place where team bosses, drivers and fans always get their first F1 fix of the year at winter testing. A race lap typically takes a little under 1:20 (Daniel Ricciardo’s track record from 2018 is a low 1:18) which is why the lap count is relatively high at 66 laps. Two straights and also just two DRS zones mean drivers will do most of their overtaking at the end of either one.
What makes overtaking difficult is that every driver knows the Circuit de Catalunya better than any other track. Pretty much every junior racing category has a race in Barcelona, and on top of that, every year, all Formula 1 team travel to Barcelona to log hundreds of laps on the circuit. Every driver now knows every inch of asphalt and every place where someone might think they can overtake.
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Track Guide
The Circuit de Catalunya is known to be very hard for overtaking, but also for being very well-balanced. A combination of straights, twisty technical sections and long-winding corners make it the perfect venue for testing, which is why it’s the host of pre-season testing in Formula 1 as well.
Turn 1 immediately forms the best overtaking opportunity of the track, coming at the end of the long home straight. Turn 1 and 2 forms a right-left chicane, with exit speed being crucial heading into turn 3. Turn 3 is a very long, flat out right-hander, followed by a short straight towards turn 4.
Coming out of the slow turn 4 and turn 5, F1 cars build up a lot of speed through a left kink and towards the chicane of turn 7 and 8. Turn 9, a quick right-hander, is one of the most corners of the track, with the apex being invisible on approach. Exit speed is crucial, though, as it’s followed by a DRS straight.
Into the slowest part of the circuit now, with the straight ending with a left-handed hairpin. Turn 11, a kink, leads into the slow, long right-hander turn 12. Another slow right-hander follows, which bleeds into a left-right chicane onto the main straight.
Recently at the Circuit de Catalunya
Spanish Grands Prix usually aren’t the most exciting races on the calendar, and 2019 was no different. Mercedes made history by starting the season with a record-breaking five consecutive one-two finishes, with Lewis Hamilton beating Valtteri Bottas to the checkered flag despite the latter starting from pole position. Max Verstappen beat both Ferraris to the final spot on the podium, meaning the podium was an exact copy of the 2018 one.
The 2020 version saw the same three drivers on the podium, except Bottas and Verstappen, swapped places.
What does the race weekend of the Spanish Grand Prix look like?
FP1 is set to start on May 7th at 10:00 UK time, while FP2 will be driven at 14:00. Qualifying starts on Saturday, May 8th at 14:00, the race on Sunday, May 9th at ten past two in the afternoon, or ten past nine in the morning on the east coast in the USA.
What time does the Spanish Grand Prix start?
As in previous years, the Spanish Grand Prix can be followed live in the live blog of GPblog from half an hour before the start of the race onwards. The starting time of the Spanish Grand Prix is 14:10 UK time (09:10 EST) and the race can also be followed live on Sky Sports and/or F1TV in the UK. All free practice sessions and qualifying will be broadcast there as well.
|Practice 1||6 May 2021|
|Practice 2||6 May 2021|
|Practice 3||7 May 2021|
|Qualifying||7 May 2021|
|Times are in America/New_York Timezone|
Latest Spanish Grand Prix news
Binotto after dramatic qualifying: "The drivers didn't have confidence"
Ferrari had one of the worst qualifying sessions they have had in recent times. The team was lucky that they were...
Ferrari strategist: "That forces us to adjust the tactics lap by lap"
According to Ferrari strategist Iñaka Rueda, Ferrari has strategically taken a different path since competing...
Brundle: "That feels very much the wrong way around to me"
During the Spanish Grand Prix Sergio Perez constantly asked his team about the tyres. According to Martin Brundle...
Masi after F2 incident with kerbs: "They absolutely are fit for use"
FIA Formula 1 racing director Michael Masi will investigate the incident of Sean Gelael in Formula 2 during...
Marko: "Out of kindness Bottas certainly didn't let Max finish second"
Helmut Marko doesn't understand why Valtteri Bottas was unable to attack Max Verstappen for second place during...
Marko happy with ban party mode: "Also affects in- and outlaps and overtaking"
Helmut Marko states that Red Bull Racing underperformed during the Spanish Grand Prix. Red Bull Racing's advisor...
AMS: Albon was sacrificed for Verstappen in Spain
During his first stint in the Spanish Grand Prix Max Verstappen told his team that he wanted to go in for new tyres....
Hakkinen: "Verstappen is ready to punish Mercedes for mistakes"
Mika Hakkinen enjoyed the fact that Max Verstappen was able to split Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas during...
Renault sinks further into midfield: ''The car just isn't good enough''
Daniel Ricciardo revealed before the GP of Spain that Cyril Abiteboul will get a tattoo if Ricciardo ends...
Rosberg: ''He must now convert this into strength to get out of the black hole''
Sebastian Vettel drove to a great seventh place during the GP of Spain, but before that he was in discussion with...
Albers disagrees with Verstappen: 'He doesn't see what's happening behind him'
Max Verstappen came second during the Spanish Grand Prix, but was also frequently heard on the on-board radio....
Wasn't Marko happy with Verstappen? "He kept repeating out of frustration''
Max Verstappen was very irritated about the onboard radio last Sunday. The Dutchman wanted to go in earlier, but...
Verstappen puts Norris a round behind and waves cheerfully at him
Lando Norris and Max Verstappen get along very well. The two not only spend a lot of time together next to each...
Horner: "Don't you see how Verstappen can get so much more out of that car?''
The pressure on Alexander Albon will only increase as he was put on a lap during the GP of Spain by Max Verstappen....
Honda has doubts about abolishing qualification mode:'How are you going to check?'
Max Verstappen still had to change his Honda engine for the Spanish Grand Prix, but despite an old engine he still...
Lammers about irritated Verstappen: ''Without conflict you don't get wiser''
Max Verstappen and his engineer were frequently heard on the on-board radio on Sunday. Red Bull Racing wanted to...
Could Racing Point do without Perez? 'Was immediately clear how much he missed it'
Sergio Perez was finally able to return after two weeks of absence during the GP of Spain. The driver of Racing...
Doornbos about Grand Prix van Verstappen: ''That car is really hard to drive''
Mercedes pointed to Max Verstappen all weekend in Spain when asked about the favorite, but on Sunday it was Lewis...
- Load more articles