Spanish Grand Prix Preview – McLaren
Earlier we heard from Red Bull Racing (see the post here) and now it’s time to hear from McLaren who have provided us with details and some unknown facts about the Spanish Grand Prix! 🙂
Lowdown – Spanish Grand Prix
Race Title – Formula 1 Gran Premio de España Pirelli 2017
Circuit Name – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
First Race – 1951
Max Verstappen – 2016
Nico Rosberg – 2015
Lewis Hamilton – 2014
History Lesson – The Spanish Grand Prix has been a Formula 1 staple for almost as long as the World Championship itself! The race has been on the calendar since 1951 and it has kicked off the European leg of the season since 1993.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is also a popular testing venue due to it’s eclectic mix of slow, medium and high-speed corners. Only three of the circuit’s 16 turns are at less than 100km/h / 62mph and the result is an average speed of 200km/h / 124mph.
Travel – Spanish Grand Prix
City – Barcelona
Time Zone – BST +1
Population – 3 Million
How Far? – Barcelona is 707 miles away from the McLaren Technology Centre
Getting There – There’s many different airlines offering routes to and from Barcelona and being relatively close can even be driven within a couple of days.
Surprising Fact – Montjuic Park is situated in the hills above Barcelona and is the former home of the Spanish Grand Prix. The last race there was held in 1975 and is the largest park in Spain.
Local Speciality – Pan con tomate. Catalans don’t put butter on toast – they spread tomato, olive oil, garlic and salt.
Weather – Spring is a wonderful time to visit Barcelona. The temperature is usually in the mid-20’s and the forecast for the race is good.
Track – Spanish Grand Prix
Track Length – 4.655km/2.892 miles
2016 Pole Position – Lewis Hamilton
2016 Fastest Lap – Daniil Kvyat
Lap Record – Kimi Raikkonen, 2008 – 1:21.670
Tyre Choice – Yellow (Soft), White (Medium) and Orange (Hard) – this is the first time that this combination has been used in the 2017 Formula 1 season.
Distance to Turn 1 – 730m/0.454 miles
Longest Straight – 1.047km / 0.651 miles
Top Speed – 335km/h/208mph
Full Throttle – 65 %
Brakewear – Medium – There are 8 braking events around the lap but only two big stops into Turn 1 and Turn 10.
Fuel Consumption – 1.7kg per lap, average.
ERS Demand – Medium
Gear Changes – 44 per lap / 2904 per race.
Race – Spanish Grand Prix
Laps – 66
Start Time – 14:00hrs Local – 13:00hrs BST
Grid Advantage – Pole Position is located on the left side of the track, on the racing line. There is more grip available there but it’s the longest run to Turn One of the season and a lot can change during that 730-metre sprint.
DRS – There are 2 DRS zones on the approaches to Turn 1 and Turn 10.
DON’T Put the kettle on – Last year’s race was won using a two-stop strategy (laps 12 and 34) while Sebastian Vettel was the first three-stopper to bring the car home in third place.
Pit Strategy – Cars are expected to start pitting from lap 25 onwards.
Pitlane Length– 330m/0.206 miles.
Pitstops – Estimated time loss for a pitstop is 21s which is relatively short.
Safety Car – Likelihood is 37% which is low. If there is a safety car, that usually comes on lap one when drivers are jostling for a position. Remember last year when both Mercedes drivers came together?
Watch Out For – Turn 9. This 210km/h/130mph right-hander rises over a crest meaning that the car becomes light just as the drivers are re-applying the power ahead of the long straight down to Turn 10.
Driver Interviews – Spanish Grand Prix
Fernando Alonso – #FA14
“I’m really excited about returning to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix. It’s my home race and I’ve had some great times there. The atmosphere is always crazy and we spend a lot of time there in pre-season testing but there’s nothing quite like the emotion of racing there in front of your home fans and it’s a very special feeling.”
“After a run of difficult races for us, I’m not sure what we can expect from this weekend. We’re expecting some various parts which we bring to every race but we can’t really focus too much on the performance until we have solved our reliability issues.”
“That’s always our focus and I know that the team is working extremely hard to get to the bottom of our recent problems and I am hopeful that we can have a smooth race and a weekend with very few issues.”
“For me, qualifying has been an exciting session in the past few races and I hope that we can repeat this in Barcelona but the most important thing will be to maximise whatever grid slot we can achieve on Saturday and on the race day.”
Stoffel Vandoorne – #SV2
“Although we weren’t proud of our performance at the Russian Grand Prix, we could still take some positives from the weekend and I’m pleased that I was able to finish the race after a few tough weekends.”
“It was important for me to get some mileage under my belt and we managed to gather a lot of valuable information which is helping to shape the development of both the chassis and the power unit as continue through the season.”
“I’m looking forward to starting the European season at the Spanish Grand Prix. I know the circuit well from the previous races I’ve done there and of course from pre-season testing. We have a lot of useful data about the track and the way the car behaves there.”
“Hopefully, this weekend will mean that we can start the race weekend on a positive note and have a smooth weekend.”
“The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a fun track to drive and pretty fast too – it’s quite demanding for both the car and also the driver.”
“It’s very tricky to overtake there and as it’s a quick track, the average speed is quite high so it will be a challenging one for us. It’s traditionally a circuit which is tough on the tyres but I’, interested to see how the new compounds will changes and how the race unfolds.”
“As always though, I’m ready for the challenges and excited to go racing again.”
There’s lots more coming soon so make sure you keep checking back for all the latest!