Upcoming races in Spain, Monaco and Canada
THE MAIN EVENT
A fixture on the F1 calendar since 1991 as well as a popular test venue, Barcelona can trace its involvement in the sport back to the early days of the world championship. In 1951 and ’54 the season ended with a street race in Pedralbes and the Montjuic circuit hosted the Spanish GP four times between 1969 and 1975
Fine weather and great views – there are grandstands at most corners, especially the high-speed ones – make it a popular venue for fans across Europe and there is always good home support for Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz. The circuit has many old-school corners with gravel traps and grass still featuring along the borders, such as the hairpin at Turn 5 and the fast left-right at Turn 7/8.
Owing to the vast quantities of test data accrued from Barcelona, teams usually have little difficulty optimising performance – with mixed benefits, since although it means the cars operate at or near their theoretical maximum, it also militates against overtaking.
CLASSIC RACE: 2009
Brawn opted for a split strategy approach in Spain, with championship leader Jenson Button pencilled in for a twostop race, and an extra visit planned for team-mate Rubens Barrichello. Button claimed pole but Barrichello, naturally on a lighter fuel load, led Button and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel into the fast right-hander of Turn 1.
However, Barrichello was unable to build a big enough gap to Button to make the three-stop work, which allowed Button back in front for his fourth win of the season and a healthy 14-point championship lead.