Spanish GP Arrows preview

The 2001 Spanish Grand Prix heralds the return of traction control to Formula One after a seven-year absence. The OrangeArrows team has been busy developing its system during testing this year and will now find out how it has fared in comparison...

The 2001 Spanish Grand Prix heralds the return of traction control to Formula One after a seven-year absence. The OrangeArrows team has been busy developing its system during testing this year and will now find out how it has fared in comparison to the competition.

The Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona is very well-known to the F1 teams as a great deal of the winter test programme is carried out there. Purpose-built for F1, the track has a good mixture of fast and slow corners, a very long pit straight and undulating bumps so it is tough on the drivers and the cars. Set-up is a challenge as the slow corners require downforce but you want as little as possible on the long straight and sweeping turns. The most common difficulties at Catalunya are understeer and high tyre wear.

After a tough Grand Prix at Imola, Jos Verstappen is hoping for a trouble-free weekend...

"The Spanish Grand Prix should be very interesting as with the traction control coming back it's a bit like starting a new season. You don't know where you stand compared to all the other teams. Hopefully our system works well. We've been doing some work on it this week and we will see the results in Barcelona."

Enrique Bernoldi has raced at the Circuit de Catalunya before and enjoys the challenges of this track...

"For me this is a very good circuit. There is a good mixture of corners and lots of fast ones which I like. The return of traction control may bring the teams tighter together but all will be revealed at the weekend."

Mike Coughlan, Technical Director at OrangeArrows explains the significance of the return of traction control...

"Traction control is going to make very little difference to lap times. It is during the race where it will come into its own as the cars will be easier to drive, the tyres will last longer and the drivers will make less mistakes. This will impact on overtaking, making it harder, as it is usually when the driver in front makes a mistake that you get past. The biggest benefit is that we now have a level playing field as there are no question marks over who has these systems and who doesn't. Launch control is a little trickier to master and could throw up a few surprises. We have yet to match a classic Verstappen start with a computer so there is a fine balance to be achieved there. It will be an interesting weekend."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Enrique Bernoldi