F1 Preview: Spanish Grand Prix
Max Verstappen driving Oracle Red Bull Racing leads the field into Turn1. Spanish GP at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. June 4, 2023. Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool.

The FIA Formula One World Championship returns to action this weekend at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, host to the Spanish Grand Prix, setting off the European season with teams bringing updates and drivers aiming to build momentum on Spanish soil ahead of a triple header.

Since its inception in 1991, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has distinguished itself as one of the most challenging and competitive Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Located in Montmelo, Barcelona, the track spans 4.657 kilometers (2.894 miles), featuring 66 laps and one of the longest runs from the pole position to the braking zone at the first corner.

The home to the tenth round of a record-breaking 24-race calendar will test the driver’s neck throughout the race weekend, boasting a range of high and low-speed corners, 14 overall, nine of those to the right.

Turns 3 and 9, both high-speed sections, pose a challenge to the car’s aerodynamic grip, while the technical track layout, presenting a wide range of elevation changes and speeds, naturally takes a toll on the tires, which can wear out quickly.

In that regard, Pirelli, Formula 1 official tire manufacturer, will provide its three hardest dry compounds: C1 Hard, C2 Medium, and C3 Soft.

In addition, ambient temperatures are usually dry and warm in June, but there are slight to moderate rain chances for the racing weekend, according to the weather forecast.

Jody Egginton, Visa Cash App RB Technical Director, explains: “The circuit provides a good test of competitor aerodynamics and tire usage with a good mix of corner speeds, heavy braking, and direction changes combined with a long main straight over the 4.65km lap.

All the drivers are quite familiar with this track as it features in many of the junior championships, but it remains a challenging circuit with any off-track excursion punished by the gravel run-off areas.”

Egginton also elaborates on the updates Red Bull’s sister brand will bring to the Spanish venue.

A significant amount of work was put in by Faenza and Bicester to prepare and deliver an aerodynamic update consisting of a floor, bodywork, and rear wing for both cars, providing a measurable performance benefit.”

Last season, the circuit returned to its original design by removing the final slow chicane, bidding to improve track safety.

Among the changes, the run-off area in Turn 1 became wider, featuring 70 meters of gravel, adding to the safety improvements.

This year, a packed weekend awaits the spectators on Spanish soil as the third round of the F1 Academy series, Formula 2 and Formula 3, join the pinnacle of motorsport through the weekend.

Championship Facts

Three-time world champion Max Verstappen will look to achieve his seventh win of 2024, his fourth at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with Red Bull Racing on Sunday.

He leads the Drivers’ championship with 194 points ahead of Charles Leclerc with 138 for Scuderia Ferrari and Lando Norris, who has scored 131 points with McLaren.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

Comment on This Article

Reply to