Breaking Down the Challenging Track of the Barcelona Catalunya Circuit as F1 Prepares for the Spanish GP

Published 05/16/2022, 1:55 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race REUTERS/Albert Gea

The 2022 F1 schedule is now taking the drivers back to Europe for the Spanish GP. The Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya is one of the most famous circuits with a history of over 30 years. Further, the drivers have already run on this circuit a few months ago for pre-season testing.

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The development of this Spanish circuit began back in 1989 as part of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. The Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya hosted the first Spanish Grand Prix in F1 history just five days after its inauguration in 1991. Eventually, Nigel Mansell won the inaugural Barcelona race with legends Alain Prost and Riccardo Patrese finishing at P2 and P3.

In 2022, the Barcelona track is going to host the 31st Spanish Grand Prix. Further, the teams have been on this circuit a few months ago for testing. So, there might be no changes to the circuit for the teams to look out for. However, the 2022 challengers have drastically evolved over the five races so there would be differences in performance.

What would be the strategy for the Spanish GP?

The Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya is a 4.675 km long track where drivers are required to complete 66 laps. This circuit features two straights and over 16 turns. The DRS has been one of the most important game-changers this season and this track has two DRS Detection Zones after Turn 8 and Turn 15. Meanwhile, the Turn 10 received a little modification last season that increased the length of the circuit.

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The official tire supplier, Pirelli, has revealed the tire set for the Spanish GP. The F1 teams would have Hard C1, Medium C2, and Soft C3 at their disposal for the upcoming race. Pirelli chose the hardest set of tires for the Barcelona circuit because of the circuit’s demands from previous races and the pre-season testing. Also, Turn 3 and Turn 9 put a lot of pressure on the tire.

Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Further, the temperature in the upcoming race would be different compared to their last venture on this tract. It was winter during the pre-season testing so the temperature this time would be warmer and this would affect the tires more compared to the last time around. Further, the F1 teams would most likely go for a two-stopper which was a winning strategy for Lewis Hamilton last season.

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It would be too early to predict the strategy for all teams as some teams like Williams have showcased some surprising strategies compared to the typical strategies in the last five races. Fans should look forward to what strategies F1 teams might opt for the Spanish GP.

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Ripan Majumdar

1113 articles

Ripan Majumdar is an F1 writer at Essentially Sports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Science from West Bengal State University, Kolkata. Ripan is a massive Red Bull Racing and Sergio Perez fan, and has been following the sport for over the past few years.

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