why circuit spain is ultimate test for red bull and competition

Why the Spanish GP is the ultimate test for Red Bull (and every team)

18 June at 10:00
  • Ludo van Denderen

In the previews for an upcoming Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing has heard it time and again lately: "Imola will not be our best weekend". And: "Monaco is not like us". Or: "It will be difficult in Canada." But ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, the noises from the Austrian team are completely different. There is an expectation that Red Bull will once again be that leading team of recent seasons in Barcelona. If that is indeed the case, the rest of the season will be viewed with great confidence. If Red Bull do have problems, that also says a lot about the rest of the year.

Indeed, the Spanish Grand Prix is the ultimate test for Red Bull Racing - as well as the nine other F1 teams. If a car is strong at the Circuit de Catalunya, it is so at the vast majority of tracks on the F1 calendar. It is therefore not for nothing that, until recently, the teams started their season annually with the test days near Barcelona. Meanwhile in Bahrain the chosen venue for that.

Barcelona is a perfect mix of European circuits

Indeed, the circuit offers a perfect mix of challenges that the drivers will encounter during the rest of the season: there is a long straight with start-finish, there is a large braking zone before the first corner, there are long through corners, some super fast corners and also some slower corners. Moreover, it is a high-downforce circuit, which makes a car's aerodynamics especially important. It is precisely on that facet that Red Bull usually excel.

There are more circuits of this type on the calendar in the coming weeks, such as for the Austrian, Hungarian, Dutch and Singapore GPs. If a team manages to capture the right level of downforce here, it is a sign that things are usually fine in the aforementioned races as well. In Spain, Red Bull need not fear having to drive over high kerbs or a road surface full of bumps either.

Upgrades expected in Spain

Incidentally, do not be surprised if teams introduce the necessary updates in Barcelona, precisely because it is the perfect test track. The fact that there is no sprint race and, as a result, a lot of experimentation can be done on the relatively short track makes it even more attractive to bring new parts.

Despite races in Imola and Monaco, after trips to Australia, Asia and the United States, the European part of the F1 season really gets underway in Spain. If it is up to Red Bull - and I'm sure all its competitors think so too - this is the track where everything should fall into place and go into the summer feeling good. If things don't work out here, some tough and unpleasant months are likely to lie ahead.