The fifth round of the 2001 Formula One World Championship will take place on Sunday April 29th at the Montmelo circuit, near Barcelona, Catalunya. The 45th Spanish Grand Prix will be marked by the return to electronic aids on the cars, which had...
The fifth round of the 2001 Formula One World Championship will take place on Sunday April 29th at the Montmelo circuit, near Barcelona, Catalunya. The 45th Spanish Grand Prix will be marked by the return to electronic aids on the cars, which had been banned at the end of the 1993 season.
The Montmelo circuit, where most of the teams' winter testing is done, is a very technical track. It is a challenging mix of quick and slow corners, with a fast long straight. This type of circuit is particularly demanding on aerodynamic efficiency and on tyres performance.
Henri Durand - Technical Director :
"The Barcelona circuit is a typical chassis-track. It features long fast corners, with a long straight which stresses the efficiency of both aerodynamics and tyres. Winter testing put us in the right direction for our car's setup and we will try to make the best out of the information we gathered. As we continue the AP04 development programme focusing on aerodynamics, minor changes will be present from the next race and a package of significant modifications will be introduced at the Monaco Grand Prix (May 27th).
The new technical regulations starting from the Barcelona race, allowing traction-control, although giving us more freedom on differential and gearbox management, should not modifiy consistently the hierarchy of the cars' performance. They will make a difference in the technical approach to the cars' setup, but as all the competitors go through the same changes, the grid positions should not vary.
For this Grand Prix, Michelin brings some new tyres corresponding to more radical options. We trust their choice and we count on their support to improve our positions. An important change for us is the arrival of new driver Luciano Burti. The technical team must now adapt to him, and inversely. We will do our best to encourage feedback between our drivers and between them and the engineers in order to get rapidly some good results"
Jean Alesi :
"There will be no big difference in terms of driving technique. However, the feedback from the car will be extremely different. The start of the race will lack of surprises, with no good or bad starts, since it will be managed by a programme. The traction control will diminish the direct effects of the driver's degree of pressure on the accelerator, with fewer chances for mistakes at the start.
Winter testing have been particularly good for us and we know our car can be very competitive here. But as we have already seen from the start of the season, the other contenders are very strong. I trust the upcoming developments will change things for us and that the car will improve our position in both qualyfing and race"
Luciano Burti :
"From a first quick impression, the AP04 seems very different from the F1 cars I have driven so far, therefore the Spanish Grand Prix will be for me like a first real test session. Some details, like my driving position, are not yet perfect and I will have to adapt to all that's new for me. But I am sure that soon afterwards I will be able to perform well. It's an honour to have been chosen by Alain Prost and I look forward to reciprocate his confidence in me by getting good results in the races to come"
- Prost -