|Grand Prix Preview||Spain 2015|
|Facts & Stats: Circuit de Catalunya|
The Circuit de Catalunya is the sixth Spanish venue to host a world championship Grand Prix, after Pebralbes, Montjuic Park, Valencia, Jarama and Jerez. It’s located in the northern industrial suburbs of Barcelona and has been a permanent fixture on the Formula 1 calendar since 1991.
However, it hasn’t always hosted motorised events; it was one of the many building projects ahead of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, during which the track hosted the time-trial cycling events.
The circuit’s layout is a thorough test of man and machine. Only three of its 16 turns are taken at less than 100km/h (62mph); the remainder are all medium and high-speed corners, which test a car’s high-speed balance and aerodynamic efficiency. These challenges have made the circuit a popular testing venue over the years, the most recent tests taking place last February.
Overtaking is notoriously difficult. Eighteen of the 24 Grands Prix staged at the Circuit de Catalunya have been won from pole position, which is the highest ratio of any track on the calendar – including Monaco. As a result, a good qualifying performance is key.
A good start is also important because the run from pole position to the apex of Turn One is the longest of the season. A lot can be won and lost during this 730-metre dash and you often see drivers being very aggressive under braking for the first corner.
This is a challenging circuit for tyres because the combination of old, abrasive asphalt and fast corners puts a lot of energy through the rubber, particularly the front left. To combat these stresses, Pirelli are taking their two hardest compounds to the race, the Medium (Option) and Hard (Prime).
|Spanish Grand Prix|
8th - 10th May
Circuit de Catalunya
|McLaren at the Spanish Grand Prix|