At a Glance
When Friday May 8 to Sunday May 10, 2009
Where Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Round 5 of 17
Standings AT&T Williams 3.5pts (8th), N Rosberg 3.5pts (11th), K Nakajima 0pts (19th)
Spain's Hot Topics
Who'll come out top of the development war with the new European aero packages?
How will the teams react to the budget cap?
Will we see any new motorhomes in the paddock this year?
Circuit de Catalunya in a nutshell
Familiarity breeds consent...Teams and drivers conduct much of their winter testing in Barcelona and baseline set-ups are established long before cars take to the track on the Friday morning of a Grand Prix weekend. Normally, only detail alterations are required to tailor chassis to suit prevailing weather conditions, wind direction and the like. It is invariably a straightforward two-stop race that throws up fewer surprises than most.
What the drivers say
Thoughts after the season-opening flyaways
Nico "It's been a bit of a frustrating start to the season. We should be going into Europe with more than 3.5 points from the first four races. We were looking competitive at the outset in Australia, but things just haven't gone our way. It's also so close out there, probably the closest season I've raced in. We'll have some aero upgrades for Barcelona which I'm hoping will help us and push us further up the grid. It would be good to score some points to reward the team at Grove who have been pushing really hard."
Kazuki "It's been a tough start to the season for me. I've had three DNFs out of four races and I don't want anymore. I'm going to put them behind me now though and concentrate on the work ahead. There's still 12 more races to go and I'm determined to get some good results for myself and for the team."
On returning home after a six week trip
Kazuki "It's nice to be home after so long away. I'm spending the ten days in Oxford and will catch up with friends over some football and, hopefully, a softball game at the weekend. There will also be a few visits to the factory to talk to my engineers about Barcelona and to use the simulator to prepare myself as much as I can for the track. No doubt my trainer will also be putting me through my paces as well!"
Nico "It's been a long trip so I'll be resting a bit between the usual training I do before races. I also have lots of personal things to do as I haven't been home for six weeks and that will definitely include catching up with friends and family."
On the Circuit de Catalunya
Kazuki "I really like Barcelona and have lots of racing experience there. Last year, I had a good qualifying session and scored two points for the team coming 7th in my debut race. As I haven't had a great first few Grands Prix, I hope that this will mark the start of a new phase for me and I can do something good in Barcelona."
Nico "As we spend quite a lot of time testing at Barcelona, it's a circuit we all know well. Last year was going really well for me and I was looking good for 6th place, but then a technical problem put me out of the race. The only concern with Barcelona is that track conditions are constantly changing, so knowing what direction to go with the set-up can prove hard."
On the development battle
Kazuki "I didn't have the new parts on my car in Bahrain so I'm looking forward to trying those out in Spain and to see how the other new bits go. I'm sure that the upgraded package will be a step forward, we already know how much time it will give us, but it's all relative compared to what the other teams have done."
Nico "With the new rule changes, this year really is all about who makes the greatest progress back at the factories with development. As with all the other teams, we'll have an upgraded car in Spain and I hope it will make the difference we need."