A lap of the Circuit de Catalunya with McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa: "Accelerating downhill along the start-finish straight you hit 190mph/310kph in seventh gear before braking hard for the right-hander of Elf corner, which acts as a ...
A lap of the Circuit de Catalunya with McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa:
"Accelerating downhill along the start-finish straight you hit 190mph/310kph in seventh gear before braking hard for the right-hander of Elf corner, which acts as a funnel at the start of the race and is often the site of first lap incidents. You can hit up to 4.8G under braking as your speed reduces to 86mph/138kph in second gear."
"The second corner, the uphill left flick of Elf at 118mph/189kph is in third and flat out in qualifying. This is immediately followed by a long, fast corner, Renault, which is taken in 4th and will probably be flat this year."
"You come to a short straight before Repsol, reaching some 180mph/ 290kph in sixth gear before braking hard for this right hander. You enter Repsol in third gear at 85mph/137kph, carrying as much speed as possible as it allows you to brake very deep into the corner. A short burst of acceleration from 3rd to 5th takes you down to the Seat hairpin, the slowest corner of the circuit. Hard on the brakes the track drops as you negotiate this tight left-hander at 60mph/97kph in second gear."
"Accelerating out of Seat, the track sweeps through a gentle left curve reaching 160mph/272kph in fifth gear before once again braking hard for the left hander of Würth, which is taken in second at 85mph/136kph and where is important to run over the exit curb to make a wider exit. A short uphill straight leads you onto Campsa, negotiated at 135mph/217kph in fourth gear."
"It is important to carry a lot of speed through this corner and come out very fast, using all the exit curb again, as this will give you extra speed onto the Nissan straight. You arrive at 180mph/290kph to La Caixa hairpin. This left hand hairpin is taken in second gear at 65mph/104kph. Traction is important here as it is a very slow corner and it is quite bumpy as you accelerate onto another hairpin, Banc de Sabadell. You just have to brake gently but with speed as you turn in, as the rear end always tries to snap away here."
"There are only two corners left which are the best and fastest of the circuit. First one is taken flat out in qualifying, and in the race you lift slightly to negotiate it at 150mph/241kph in fourth gear. You come out directly onto the last corner, New Holland, which is taken in 5th gear at 140mph/225 kph, with a small lift on entry. It is very important to come out quick out of this last corner as the pit straight that follows is very long."