A very exciting and fast race is generally to be had at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain/Catalonia. It is the first track to feature on the Europe leg of the season and it is a huge test of the cars aerodynamic set up. It is where most of the teams do their preseason testing as it offers a wide range of indicating factors so that the drivers and engineers can see what the car can do in real race conditions. This is in part to do with the changing factors of the course. In one session the car may well be susceptible to over steer but after a spot of lunch it can be the opposite. It also gets extremely windy further demonstrating the aerodynamic needs of the car. You can avoid the elements by watching the race in style at the Spain F1 Paddock Club. You can find out more at edgeglobalevents.com/f1-paddock-club/f1-paddock-club-spain
Imagine you are in an F1 car. What is it like going round this track? From a standing start your fly down to turn one called Elf. There are so many overtaking opportunities and so much chance for carnage. Turn 2 is immediately after and you get a rather long chicane effect so you brake late for Elf, drop a gear then foot down hard for speed into turn 2 and its exit. Turn 3, Renault, is next and it is a long right hander taken flat out with huge g force pressures on the driver’s neck. A short straight offers some brief respite before turn 4, Repsol, awaits. It’s a large curve, like the deadly Parabolica at Monza, you go in with an early brake then put on the power to come out fast because turn 5, Seat, is a slow one and the anchors need to come on hard. Turn 6 is barely noticeably as the speed is intense and 7 and 8 are an uphill chicane. There is a real risk of undercarriage damage here and the sparks do fly. Turn 9 is known as Campsa Corner the car is gunned at full pelt through this even though drivers can’t even see the apex. It goes up hill but comes out downhill and there is trouble if a boot goes on the astroturf.
The final bends section is a series of safety conscious improvements following some close calls. Turn 10 is La Caixa a tight left hand hairpin to slow the car down. This is a test of the drivers technical skill as turns 11 and 12 are a little left hander into a drawn out mid gear right. 13 is another of these as the driver starts to think about the upcoming very long start finish straight. Before it lays three more turns. 14 and 15 are a slow left right chicane which has to be done correctly so that you enter the long full speed right hander of 16. Into the start finish straight keeping the accelerator flat to the floor, over the line and then do it all again for another 65 times.