Track Notes – Barcelona
With long straights and a variety of corners, the Circuit de Catalunya is seen as an ‘all-rounder’ circuit ideally suited to testing, and because of this many drivers are said to be able to drive around it blindfolded.
The lap starts with a straight, dipping down to Turns 1 and 2 – ‘S’ bend which often sees cars overshoot at the start, as they get squeezed by the pack. Indeed, only Melbourne has produced more first lap retirements over the last five years. From here they race through the Turn 3 right-hander foot to the floor, and that really tests the drivers’ neck muscles. Standing here can also afford the spectator a view of Turn 6, which runs back behind it.
Turn 5 is tricky, because the left-front wheel wants to lock under braking, resulting in mid-corner understeer. Then the corner falls away and the car will oversteer. The track rises sharply from Turn 7 to Campsa, the highest point of the circuit, which has a blind entry at high speed. The corner at the bottom end of the back straight is tight and it’s very important to judge the car’s braking carefully. The exit is slow and uphill, often resulting in some wheelspin. The final corner has had a chicane installed, ridding us of a previously sweeping double right-hander. Because the circuit’s layout is so varied, the right aero balance is critical for a good laptime.
It might not seem like the obvious candidate but over the past five years, Barcelona has produced the highest rate of mechanical retirements of any of the current circuits. Almost one in five of starters have succumbed as teams introduce their European updates.
|Engine demand:||Mechanical retirements:||19.3%|
|Tyre wear:||Accident retirements:||12.8%|
|Brake demand:||First Lap retirements:||7.3%|
|Downforce level:||Safety car deployments:||0.60 per race|
|Top speed:||308 km/h (190 mph)|
|Average speed:||205 km/h (127 mph)|
|Pitlane loss:||18.6 s|
|Pitlane length:||370 m|
|Gear changes per lap:||44|
|Time at full-throttle:||57%|
|Time under braking:||12%|
|Fuel effect:||0.08 s per lap of fuel|
|Fuel consumption:||2.30 kg per 5 km|
|Tyre allocation:||Hard (silver) / Soft (yellow)|
Retirements and safety car deployments based on last five years.
Retirements are a percentage of all cars starting the race.
Accident retirements covers accidents, collisions and drivers spun out of the race
Other data courtesy of AT&T Williams F1, Lotus Renault GP, Pirelli Tyres and Brembo Brakes