Barcelona is one of the less exciting circuit on the Formula 1 calendar – there is fewer opportunity for overtaking, though it has long been the main testing venue for all the teams – meaning, theoretically, that everyone should be at their best this weekend.
Overtaking is mostly reserved for the downhill run to turn one (at end of start/stop strait), with the short straight leading to the turn-10 hairpin also an option (rare chance). Pit-strategy is often key here, but with the Pirelli tyres proving more durable – as requested – this season, greater emphasis will be placed on the few pit-stops we do see.
In Russia recently, there was just a single passing move all race, prompting some drivers to raise the issue in their FIA briefing ahead of the Spanish grand prix.
So the Barcelona DRS zone has been extended by 100 metres.
“We discussed it in the briefing,” revealed Daniel Ricciardo. “Hopefully it improves it.”
Williams’ Felipe Massa added: “It will still be difficult.”
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen said: “It has never been easy to overtake here, so let’s see if this will help.”
Spanish Grand Prix was first held at the Catalunya circuit in 1991, the pole-sitter has won the race 76 per cent of the time – way more than on the streets of Monaco (52 per cent) over the same period, where pole is measured to be key to victory.