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Next race: Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona
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Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1 season 2013

Circuit information
CircuitCircuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
LocationBarcelona
CountrySpain
TimezoneGMT +02:00
Race debut1991
Laps66
Length4.655 km
Distance307.104 km
Line offset0.126 km

Event overview

The Spanish Grand Prix heralds the start of the European leg of the F1 season, with teams returning to the Barcelona track that they know so well. Miles and miles of testing have been completed at the Circuit de Catalunya, although Barcelona didn’t play host to a pre-season test ahead of the 2014 season. That could mean that teams are slightly less comfortable at the track than they have been in recent years, without any up to date information for running the current machinery around the circuit.

Where the races have occasionally been dull, given the familiarity throughout the field, this year’s Grand Prix may have something more to it. Teams will bring their full motorhomes to the paddock, and with close proximity to most of the factories, the Spanish race will see big upgrade packages and refreshed cars on track. Driver mistakes are still going to be unlikely, although the rookie racers may not have spent as much time at the Barcelona circuit as their colleagues.

The track takes up a small amount of surface area, as it is long and narrow. The lap starts on the home straight, with drivers braking heavily into the first corner, a tricky right-left chicane. Elevation changes feature around the circuit, particularly uphill into the third corner. The second sector continues to be heavy on braking, drivers can struggle with locking up through the tight turns. The hairpin leading out of the back straight guides drivers round the final few turns before the lap is complete.

Although braking can be difficult, Barcelona is more about aerodynamic efficiency and getting the best top speed for the longer straights. With the tweaks in aerodynamic design present in the 2014 class of car, there could be yet more challenges awaiting our drivers at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Watching on from the sidelines, Spain’s passionate fans flood the grandstands. It’s a change of atmosphere compared to the preceding couple of events, where visitor numbers can be reduced.

The crowds turn out in their thousands, particularly to cheer on their double world champion Fernando Alonso, as he hunts for a return to the top of the title standings. The weather can dampen spirits occasionally, but when the sun is shining over the track, it’s a glorious spectacle to behold.

Learn more about Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with the Pocket F1 Handbook.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
10 MayFridayFree Practice 109:00
GMT +01:00
10:00
GMT +02:00
Free Practice 213:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT +02:00
11 MaySaturdayFree Practice 310:00
GMT +01:00
11:00
GMT +02:00
Qualifying13:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT +02:00
12 MaySundayGrand Prix13:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT +02:00

All content in the series Spain 2013