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Race information - Spain 2014 // F1 heads to Barcelona, bringing out the motorhomes

Published by Christine

Formula One has been on something of an extended break since the Chinese Grand Prix. Although it's only been off our screens for one week more than the normal fortnightly schedule, it feels like an age since those eleven teams gathered together in a bid to pick up as many points as possible. Not a huge amount has changed in the intervening period, and news has been light as the drivers get set for the next leg of this epic 2014 journey.

Event schedule

No one is realistically expecting to have caught up Mercedes in the three week break, and the German manufacturer should comfortably lead as we go into the first race of the European leg of the season. Who will be best of the rest is still up for grabs though. We've seen Ferrari stage something of a comeback, McLaren have dropped down from where they were, and midfield teams such as Force India and Williams make strides forward.

Nico Rosberg himself said "it's an important part of the season where one can judge the real pace of the car compared to everyone else. Barcelona is the first 'normal' track where we can judge going into the rest of the season."

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

Support racing for this event includes GP2, GP3 and Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.

Expected conditions

So far this year, we've had intermittent rainy days - mostly affecting qualifying - which have helped to keep us guessing as each weekend unfolds. For Barcelona, things look bright and clear, although the clouds could move in at any stage. The temperatures are reasonable and stable around 20 degrees, although the cloud cover could affect that as each day progresses.

Mostly sunny

Barcelona, Friday

22℃

  • Low 16℃
  • Humidity 51%

Mostly sunny

Times of cloud and sun

Barcelona, Saturday

23℃

  • Low 15℃
  • Humidity 54%

Times of cloud and sun

Partly cloudy

Barcelona, Sunday

21℃

  • Low 13℃
  • Humidity 58%

Partly cloudy

Track information

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya circuit map
DRS zones
DRS detection 186m before turn 9
DRS activation 140m after turn 9
DRS detection 2Safety car line
DRS activation 2157m after turn 16

Traditionally, drivers head into the race weekend at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya confident that they have plenty of data to begin with. The track is a popular test destination and has often been used for the pre-season events in February and March. Whilst none of those stats will have been forgotten, teams didn't have the luxury of testing in Barcelona this year, so the new cars will be something of a mystery to them on the Spanish tarmac.

The lap begins with the lengthy home straight, and drivers braking heavily into the first corner. There are elevation changes aplenty, 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. However tricky the corners are, what Barcelona is known for is the requirement for aerodynamic efficiency. That's why Rosberg alluded to it giving a guide as to who is strong and who has work to do.

This weekend will also see the return of the motorhomes, as teams bring their hospitality units to the paddock in an attempt to impress guests and keep the media in tea and cake. Mmm, cake.

Circuit history

Circuit information
CircuitCircuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
LocationBarcelona
CountrySpain
TimezoneGMT +01:00
Race debut1991
Laps66
Length4.655 km
Distance307.104 km
Line offset0.126 km

The most surprising event in Barcelona's recent history was Pastor Maldonado's victory in 2012. Not a fluke in that he dominated the weekend with pole position and a strong race win, but certainly a result that has yet to be repeated by driver or team.

Spain can throw up a surprise then, but not often. Maldonado holds the record for being the only driver to win at the Circuit de Catalunya and not secure victory at any other races in the same season.

Recent years have seen Red Bull win twice, but the last seven races have been won by seven different drivers and four different teams. It may be a predictable track for the teams, but guessing the winner isn't always easy.

Results for the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix
SessionDriverTeamTime
Free Practice 1Fernando AlonsoScuderia Ferrari1:25.252
Free Practice 2Sebastian VettelInfiniti Red Bull Racing1:22.808
Free Practice 3Felipe MassaScuderia Ferrari1:21.901
QualifyingNico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:20.718
Grand PrixFernando AlonsoScuderia Ferrari1:39:16.596
Fastest lapEsteban GutiérrezSauber F1 Team1:26.217

Tyre compounds

Spanish Grand Prix tyre selection
Hard and medium compounds

The aerodynamic demands of Barcelona require some good, sturdy tyres and Pirelli have opted to bring the two hardest compounds for the weekend ahead. With the hard (orange sidewalls) and medium (white sidewalls) at work, the tyre supplier hope they can manage to tame how dominant the rubber will be this year, compared to previous seasons.

The track surface is also quite abrasive, and ambient temperatures can be high, which increase the workload on the tyres further. In the past we’ve seen up to four pit stops in Spain. With the changes we have made to the tyres this year, we would now hope to see no more than three for the majority of drivers.

- Paul Hembery

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
DayAttendeeRepresenting
ThursdayFernando AlonsoScuderia Ferrari
Max ChiltonMarussia F1 Team
Daniil KvyatScuderia Toro Rosso
Kevin MagnussenMcLaren Mercedes
Pastor MaldonadoLotus F1 Team
Sebastian VettelInfiniti Red Bull Racing
FridayCyril AbiteboulCaterham F1 Team
John BoothMarussia F1 Team
Robert FernleySahara Force India F1 Team
Monisha KaltenbornSauber F1 Team
Franz TostScuderia Toro Rosso
SaturdayThree fastest drivers
SundayFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process includes a former F1 driver to offer added insight. These stewards are overseeing the weekend's action.

FIA stewards
NamePosition
Garry ConnellyDeputy President of the FIA Institute, Director of the Australian Institute of Motor Sport Safety, F1 and WTCC Steward, and FIA World Motorsport Council Member.
Danny SullivanFormer Formula One driver, Indy 500 winner and CART champion.
Farhan VohraMember of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India

All content in the series Spain 2014