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Spain 2012 - Race information // Everything you need to know about the Spanish Grand Prix

Published by Christine

It's been a lengthy break since the last race, with the F1 entertainment coming in the form of a three day test in Mugello. The Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona is one of those that doesn't fill fans with an enormous amount of hope - the teams know the track so well that they are rarely surprised by anything it can throw up. However, it's back to Europe so motorhomes aplenty, and we'll get to see all the tweaks to the cars after their exploits at the test.

Event schedule

Sebastian Vettel showed a return to form in Bahrain, taking pole position and victory in a fashion eerily similar to his domination of the previous season. However, all is not lost. We have had four winners in four races and there's nothing to suggest we won't see a fifth this weekend. McLaren have revised the nose of their car to bring it higher and more in line with the stepped nose cars, without resorting to the actual step. Will this help them return to the top of the grid?

Session Timetable
DateDaySessionGMT +0100Local
11 MayFridayFree Practice 109:0010:00
Free Practice 213:0014:00
12 MaySaturdayFree Practice 310:0011:00
Qualifying13:0014:00
13 MaySundayGrand Prix13:0014:00

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

The weather

The long range weather forecasts show plenty of sunshine across the entire weekend in Barcelona, although the rays may be tainted with clouds on Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures will be relatively high, although dropping a little come race day.

clear

Barcelona, Friday

27℃

  • Low 15℃
  • Humidity 32%

Hot and sunny

clear

Barcelona, Saturday

27℃

  • Low 16℃
  • Humidity 49%

Clouds creeping in

clear

Barcelona, Sunday

23℃

  • Low 15℃
  • Humidity 63%

Coolest day

Circuit map

Sidepodcast image
DRS Zones
DRS detectionSafety car line
DRS activation750m before turn 1

Last year, the FIA set the longest DRS zone on the calendar in Spain, making use of the start/finish straight to encourage overtaking. It did result in a more interesting race, but was won by Vettel, who was beginning to dominate.

This year, with teams starting to understand the new tyres (although some still wary of them), the DRS zone could be a key feature of the race once more.

The circuit

Circuit Data
NameCircuit de Catalunya
LocationBarcelona
TimezoneGMT +0200
First Race1991
Laps66
Length4.655 km
Distance307.104 km
Start / Finish Offset0.126 km

The Circuit de Catalunya is challenging enough for drivers, if not riveting for viewers. The long straights lead to sweeping corners or tricky hairpins, and the 4.6km track will sort the fast cars from the slow. The average corner speed is somewhere around 130km/h with top speeds hitting 318km/h.

Since last year, there have been a couple of tweaks to the track with a strip of artificial grass added at turn three, and the kerbing on turn five extended by 50 metres.

Pre-season there were three tests and two of them were held at Barcelona, giving teams plenty of data to decide the crucial strategies. With so much known about the circuit and how races can unfold, getting to the front of the grid on Saturday is important.

2011 Results
SessionDriverTeamTimeLinks
Free Practice 1Mark WebberRed Bull1:25.142Live / Results
Free Practice 2Mark WebberRed Bull1:22.470Live / Results
Free Practice 3Sebastian VettelRed Bull1:21.707Live / Results
QualifyingMark WebberRed Bull1:20.981Live / Results
Grand PrixSebastian VettelRed Bull1:39:03.301Live / Results
Fastest LapLewis HamiltonMcLaren1:26.727

Tyre compounds

Soft and hard compounds
Soft and hard compounds

The hard and soft tyres make their debut together this weekend, with an entire step between the compounds. Pirelli hope that this will encourage some interesting race strategies, and motorsport boss Paul Hembery is looking forward to seeing the race unfold.

These compounds are well-suited to the heavy demands of this track, where tyre degradation is definitely a factor due to the significant amount of lateral energy going through the tyre and an abrasive track surface, as well as relatively high ambient temperatures. This is particularly notable on the front-left tyre which does most of the work at this circuit.

- 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
DayLocalAttendeeRepresenting
Thursday15:00Fernando AlonsoFerrari
Pedro de la RosaHRT
Nico HülkenbergForce India
Kamui KobayashiSauber
Kimi RäikkönenLotus
Sebastian VettelRed Bull
Friday16:00Giorgio AscanelliToro Rosso
Paul HemberyPirelli
Sam MichaelMcLaren
Adrian NeweyRed Bull
Mark SmithCaterham
Pierre WacheSauber
SaturdayPost qualifyingThree fastest drivers
SundayPost raceFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process was changed last year to include a former F1 driver to give added insight. These are the stewards overseeing this weekend's action.

F1 Stewards
NamePosition
Gerd EnnserMember of DMSB's Executive Committee for Automobile Sport
Tom KristensenEight time Le Mans winner
Radovan NovakSecretary General of the ACCR

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