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Changes to Barcelona circuit: another duel between Verstappen and Leclerc?

Changes to Barcelona circuit: another duel between Verstappen and Leclerc?

18 May - 19:47 Last update: 20:43


The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya underwent necessary modifications for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix. This was done in coordination with the MotoGP, where the tenth corner of the circuit was deemed unsafe after the fatal accident of Moto2 rider Luis Salom at the circuit in 2016. This year, some changes have also been made to the circuit. What effect could these changes have on Formula 's "new racing" in 2022?

The 24-year-old Salom crashed heavily in turn twelve during free practice and did not survive the accident. After this the MotoGP immediately started using a different lay-out on the spot. Other parts of the track were analysed as well and from that analysis it appeared that turn ten also did not meet the safety requirements of the FIA and the FIM.

Modifications to turn ten in Barcelona

As a result, the corner was drastically modified last year. With that, the layout was brought back to a state similar to the one before 2004, when the design was just adapted to a very sharp hairpin curve. Since 2021, the corner is again longer and flows more smoothly into corner eleven.

Adjustments at Barcelona 2022

Prior to the 2022 Formula 1 season, the circuit underwent some more, less drastic modifications. For example, the wall in turn four, the scene of the infamous crash between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in 2016, was removed.

The purpose of this modification is to make the gravel pit in that corner larger, thus improving safety for MotoGP and World Superbike riders. The other adjustments were made to the paddock, where more space was made for facilities.

Effect of adjustments last year and now

Prior to the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, they hoped that the more fluid turn ten would enhance racing, where previously it was actually difficult to follow each other. In practice, however, the adjustment did not prove to have a comprehensive effect, but what about for the 'new racing' of 2022?

That following has become easier because of this year's new rules is now clear, and that will probably also be the case in the modified turn ten. Overtaking, however, is another story, but there the new layout may have an indirect effect on it: by making it easier to follow each other in this final sector of the circuit, it may create additional overtaking opportunities on the approach to the straight after turn sixteen.

It is therefore quite possible that we will see another intense duel here between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, due to the twisty last sector followed by the long straight towards turn one.

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