Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona (Circuit de Catalunya) The OrangeArrows team heads to Spain following an extensive test programme at Silverstone last week in preparation for this weekend's race. The team spent three days at the British track...
Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona (Circuit de Catalunya)
The OrangeArrows team heads to Spain following an extensive test programme at Silverstone last week in preparation for this weekend's race. The team spent three days at the British track to add more mileage to the A23 and work on developments with Heinz-Harald Frentzen at the wheel.
The Circuit de Catalunya is one of the few modern tracks on today's calendar. Purpose-built in 1991 to host the Spanish Grand Prix after officials decided not to share the race between three tracks, fans have enjoyed some great battles over the years, particularly in the earlier days of racing with the likes of Senna and Mansell.
Lap Distance: 4.730 km
Race Distance: 307.323 km, 65 laps
2001 Winner: Michael Schumacher, Ferrari
The Circuit de Catalunya is well-known to the F1 teams as a great deal of the testing is carried out at there during the winter months. The track has a good combination of fast and slow corners with a mile long pit straight that requires hard braking at the end into turn one. With a rather bumpy surface, the track is tough on the drivers and the cars, but the most common troubles are understeer and high tyre wear. Despite the mileage done here in testing, the set-up is a challenge and often requires some give and take in downforce as the slow corners require as much as possible, while the long straights and sweeping turns need less.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen enjoys racing at Catalunya and is looking forward to returning to Spain: "I like Barcelona a lot. The city and it's people are great and it's a nice country. Obviously as one of the main winter testing tracks, it's a circuit that the drivers know well so it does give you a head start when it comes to racing here, but nevertheless, it is a demanding track. It is quite fast with some quick corners, which means you need to find a good set-up to get the maximum performance out of the car over the whole lap. One thing to remember in Barcelona is that conditions do change quite quickly so finding the right set-up is a challenge."
Enrique Bernoldi is eager to perform well in Barcelona and describes the track: "Barcelona is a nice track for me. I like the combination of turns; it has a good mixture of fast sweeping bends with some that are quite tight in the infield section. The pit-straight is quite fun also as it really calls for you to brake very late into the first corner. I said at San Marino that we really need to be aiming to get the car home, but as I couldn't do that in Imola, I'm hoping the testing the team did last week will allow us to do that here."
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: "Barcelona should be an interesting race for us. The team has been working hard back at the factory and in testing at Silverstone last week. We added some good mileage to the car which will hopefully remove some of the reliability problems we have had in the first few races. The car was running well and we were moderately quick over the three days, so I think it's fair to say we come to Spain better prepared. Catalunya has some fast and slow turns which, along with the long straight, will require us to find the optimum set-up."