The Circuit de Catalunya
1991 the first race at the circuit de catalunya and a great overtaking move by Mansell down the main straight on Ayrton Senna . There has been little action to rival that at the circuit since, at least not in Formula One. DRS could change this though the DRS will come in to play on the same start finish striaght and back in 1991 we were shown that a good speed advantage menat a pass could stick into turns 1 and 2.
This is a good testing circuit which all the drivers know very well indeed, don’t expect mistakes then even from the rookies. Being a slightly older track though the run off areas aren’t as forgiving as at many other circuits; if drivers do make mistakes then they can easily get stuck in the gravel or at least will loose a reasonable amount of time.
Apart from Michael Schumacher who has won here six times no drivers have a particularly good history here, no other current drivers have won here more than once and Vettel and Hamilton are yet to win here. Vettel though may fancy this race; a good qualifying and then driving quickly at the front to avoid getting leapfrogged has always been the order of the day and has been what gave Schumacher most of those wins.
Turn 9 may be a key corner, last year Red Bull managed to do it flat out, the first time this has ever been possible: who will manage it this year is a key question, perhaps we should have paid attention in Pre Season testing.
Things could get a little more interesting here if it rains and only five teams tested here during the winter in wet conditions, including McLaren and Mercedes, they could have an advantage therefore for wet setup if needed.
Where to sit:
If you want to see overtaking take a seat by turns one and two, most passing moves wont be sealed until they come out of turn two. If you want to see something really impressive though there’s the fast turns 3 and 9 both 5th gear corners.
The AP-7 motorway comes close to the circuit, you can drive to the circuit from Calais having crossed from Dover within two days at a push or three days comfortably (it’s 12 hours according to Google Maps). The Girona and Barcelona international airports both have flights from London and other UK airports. Girona tends to be cheaper to fly to and it may make sense to fly here and rent a car, especially if taking a longer break, the circuit is actually slightly to the north and east of Barcelona at Montmelo.