PRE­VIEWS

F1 Racing (UK) - - CONTENTS -

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.

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