Whilst I’ll be heading to Barcelona to enjoy the delightful atmosphere soon, I wish I could be there this weekend to enjoy the thrilling racing at Circuit de Catalunya located in Barcelona, home of the Spanish Grand Prix. The 4.657km circuit is one of the fastest tracks on the F1 calendar which focuses very much on the cars and their chassis, so a good qualification run and a solid race strategy is imperative around here, and that’s exactly why this circuit is an all time great.
If there was anything we learned from Friday practice is that the upgrades brought on by Mercedes have had very little impact on their pace. The eight time World Champion, Lewis Hamilton stated that it might be difficult for him to get his car in the top 10 come Saturday’s qualifying session. His teammate George Russell was a bit more optimistic about his Friday runs stating that there will be a difference on Saturday and Sunday as the team scrambles to assess their running data overnight and complete some set-up changes to the car. Lewis also touched up on this claiming that there are significant changes he can make to his car’s set-up to change the driving dynamic in his favor. We would hope that Mercedes are sandbagging a little bit and would up their speed and pace come Saturday and Sunday to take the fight to the rest of the front runners.
Whilst Monaco was the best chance for any other team to snatch a win and pole from the mighty Red Bulls, Spain might prove a little bit more difficult. As mentioned earlier, the Circuit de Catalunya is a chassis focused track that runs a medium to high downforce set-up which also includes a very long straight. This just plays nicely into the hands of Red Bull who seem to be in a league of their own as they breezed past everyone to climb to the top of the timing charts on Friday’s practice.
I suspect that eyes will be on Sergio Perez this weekend, as after a dismal race last time out in Monaco the Mexican really needs to get back on top of his game and close the gap to his Dutch teammate. He said that he’s fully focused and determined to take the fight to the two time World Champion and that the title race is most certainly still on. Go Checo, go!
With Alonso picking up pace in his almighty Aston Martin he certainly got his home crowd something to cheer about as the Aston is the closest contender to the fast paced Red Bulls. The Spanish veteran claims that a win for him is certainly possible this season. He did drive his car to a P2 finish on Friday’s practice, and whilst a win on home soil might be something very special for all of us to see, it’s slightly farfetched given the pace of the Red Bulls, but there’s still some form of hope.
The Crowd will also be cheering on Alonso’s prodégé, Carlos Sainz and he’ll be needing all the support he can get as Ferrari continues to struggle in this 2023 race season. He hopes he would be able to find some race pace given that the Italian team have some new bodywork and side pod upgrades which they brought along to the Spanish Grand Prix. Something which they hope could boost their race over last year’s race performance.
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