2018 Spanish Grand PrixView

By on Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Teams return to Barcelona this weekend for the Spanish Grand Prix, to a track where they have reams of data and, more importantly, data with this year’s car. But it’s not exactly the same as it was in late February and early March when Formula One descended upon the 4.655-kilometer circuit for testing. While the track was freshly paved prior to seeing racecars for the first time in 2018, the weather was cold. Now, temperatures are much warmer, and the track’s evolution is unknown.

Another variable directly related to the resurfacing is the slightly updated tires Pirelli has for Barcelona. While the compounds are the same – White medium, Yellow soft and Red supersoft – the construction is different. The tires are four millimeters thinner than normal, with the notion being that a thinner tire will perform better and more consistently and, specifically, not overheat on the new asphalt.

Facts and stats

The Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya is considered to be very representative of all the tracks Formula One visits, making it an ideal facility for testing. The track has only two sub-100 kph turns, and the layout’s mix of medium- and high-speed corners allows teams to gauge their car’s aerodynamic efficiency. Teams spent two weeks at the circuit prior to the start of the season, testing Feb. 26-March 1 and March 6-9. However, familiarity does not lessen the challenge for teams and their drivers. The track’s mix of corners makes for a physically and mechanically demanding race.

This is one of four Formula One locations with ties to the Olympics. The venue was the site of the start/finish line for the road team time trial cycling event when Barcelona hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics. Sochi, site of the Russian Grand Prix, hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics. The backstraight at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal runs adjacent to the Olympic rowing basin used during the 1976 Summer Olympics. And the Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City, in which the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is located, hosted numerous events during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

Circuit length: 4.6 km

Turns: 16

Direction: clockwise

Race laps: 66

First Grand Prix: 1991

Race lap record: 1:21.670 (Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 2008)

2017 Qualifying: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2017 Race: 1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), 3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

Weather prediction: lows will range from 12-14 degrees Celsius to highs of 19-21 degrees Celsius.

Tyres: medium, soft, supersoft

Timetable (GMT +2):

Friday 11 May

Practice One: 11:00 – 12:30

Practice Two: 15:00 – 16:30

Saturday 12 May

Practice Three: 12:00 – 13:00

Qualifying: 15:00

Sunday 13 May

Race: 15:10

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