On the Way to Spanish GP: race start time for Barcelona – Catalunya
Ferrari aims to reduce the weight of the car in Barcelona
Ferrari on the attack? The words of Mattia Binotto speak clearly. The Ferrari Team Principal chewed bitter, like the rest of the team, at the end of the Miami GP, the fifth round of the F1 2022 World Championship. The Reds of Monegasque Charles Leclerc and Spaniard Carlos Sainz had occupied the entire front row after qualifying, but then had to suffer the comeback of Dutch Max Verstappen in the race.
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Conclusion: Red Bull’s second consecutive success and distance from Leclerc who was further shortened (-19) in the overall standings. Here, after trying to optimize its package to the best without introducing significant updates, the Maranello team in Barcelona is ready to take this step.
Contrary to what Red Bull did, which in the end made changes to the RB18 at practically every GP, with the weight reduction important for the Imola round, the Prancing Horse team has adopted a different strategy, taking care of a concentration of resources sipped and designed to avoid reaching the end of the reserve year. There is a Budget Cap to be respected and Binotto repeats it as a kind of mantra. So what F1-75 will we see next weekend in Barcelona (20-22 May)?
According to reports from the Ferrari Team Principal, the package will be full-bodied. Interventions are expected to allow a gain of 3 tenths per lap, including the introduction of updated sidepods, a lightening of the car body, a redesigned steering arm, an updated bottom already tested in Imola and a new rear suspension. All this to make the machine more efficient and at the same time eliminate the annoying aerodynamic pumping. (READ: WHAT IS PORPOISING?)
According to broadcaster RTL and other media outlets, other updates should also include the introduction of a new paint that would allow the Maranello car to lose 700 grams of weight. Basically, we will have to see a renewed Ferrari.
How will upgrades affect the order?
For many years, the Spanish GP acted as a major milestone in the annual car development race that is so critical in Formula 1. As one of the earliest European races of the season, often the first, Barcelona was the most cost-effective early-season event for teams to introduce major upgrade packages forged by applying the knowledge learned over first few rounds of the year.
This year will be no different, with many teams having already confirmed they will be running upgrades to their cars during this weekend’s event. Alpine will be applying upgrades to their car after introducing a revised floor in recent rounds, while Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has previously stated that the team will introduce upgrades to their car around the Spanish GP.
For Mercedes the race offers an opportunity to benchmark the radical ‘zero’ sidepods with the more conventional design they ran at this track for the first pre-season test. Will that shed more light on the porpoising problems which have vexed them ever since? Could they even contemplate a ‘downgrade’ back to the original specification?
This weekend is also a vital one in terms of data collection, as teams will be able to directly correlate data directly against the three days of running their completed at the opening pre-season test. While the first test was far more about understanding the basics about the all-new cars and troubleshooting reliability issues than it was about actual car performance, it will be intriguing to see how rapid the rate of development on these new cars has been since February and what the difference in lap times are this weekend.
READ: WHAT IS PORPOISING?
COMPOUNDS NOMINATED FOR F1 2022 Spanish GP- Barcelona
“It’s hard to say much about Barcelona that hasn’t been said already, as it’s possibly the best-known circuit on the calendar for the drivers, with its wide-ranging layout making it a perfect testing venue. It has a bit of everything, with the very technical final sector being particularly important when it comes to looking after the tyres. As a result, the teams will have a good opportunity to assess the progress they have made with their cars since the start of the season, although the weather conditions will be much warmer and there will probably be a lot more running on the hard tyre than there was in testing, which will perhaps be the key to the race. In the past, Barcelona has traditionally been a two-stopper, so it will be interesting to see if the new generation of tyres this year leads anyone to target a one-stopper.”
- Pirelli brings the hardest tyres in the 2022 range to the race where it is title sponsor in Spain, with the C1 as the P Zero White hard, C2 as the P Zero Yellow medium, and C3 as the P Zero Red soft. It’s a pretty straightforward choice – which is the same as last year, albeit using a brand-new family of tyres – with the demands of the Barcelona circuit being extremely well-known from testing and previous races. These famously include the long Turn 3 as well as Turn 9: all corners that put a lot of energy through the tyres.
- The teams were at Barcelona as recently as February, three months ago, for pre-season testing. However, there are three big differences to consider: firstly, the teams concentrated on testing compounds in the middle of the range back then rather than the hard; secondly, weather conditions were much cooler; and thirdly, the new cars were in their most basic launch specification. The cars have moved on considerably since then, and it’s going to be interesting to see how much that improvement actually is with the latest upgrades.
- With Barcelona being a very well-used circuit, there’s not going to be a huge amount of track evolution expected over the course of the weekend, thanks to a busy schedule of support races too. Temperatures should be dry and warm, adding to the heavy demands placed on the tyres. The track itself is unchanged compared to last year, when Turn 10 was modified, slightly increasing the overall length of the circuit.
- Last year’s winning strategy was a two-stopper, the traditional approach to Barcelona, with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton triumphing from pole using a soft-medium-medium strategy. Soft-medium-soft was used by all the finishers from P2 to P8.
The Circuit de Catalunya was built in 1991 and has held the Spanish Grand Prix ever since.
Situated just outside Barcelona, the circuit was a popular testing destination for Formula One teams for many years, until in-season testing was limited from 2009.
It struggled to attract a large crowd initially but the growth of interest in the sport in the early 2000s due to the rise of Fernando Alonso saw race attendances surge.
The venue briefly had to compete with Valencia as the host of another Spanish race, but since 2013 the Circuit de Catalunya has regain its status as Spain’s only world championship venue.
Modifications have been made to the original layout on several occasions. The fast Nissan chicane was removed after 1994 on safety grounds. The next corner on the track, La Caixa, was tightened in a largely unsuccessful attempt to create a new overtaking opportunity in 2004.
Then in 2007 another alteration was made to improve safety, with a chicane inserted between the two high-speed corners at the end of the lap.
RACE START TIME SCHEDULE – F1 SPANISH GP (UTC+1)
Friday 20th May:
- Free Practice 1 14:00-15:00
- Free Practisice 2 17:00-18:00
Saturday 21th May:
- Free Practisice 3 13:00-14:00
- Qualifying 16:00-17:00
Sunday 22th May:
- Race 15:00-17:00
Leclerc risked a frightening accident in Monaco: he suddenly found himself without brakes!
The reconstruction of the Leclerc accident in Monte Carlo explains what caused the spin and what are the dangers that the Ferrari driver ran into. “The pedal was hard then it gave out. And I was afraid “.
A brake failure that could have worse consequences than a spin and a big scare. Charles Leclerc got away with a lot of work and thanks to the lucky star that allowed him to escape unharmed from the cockpit of the Ferrari in which he had raced the Grand Prix Historique on Sunday. A demonstration race under the banner of amarcord that left a bad memory for the Cavallino rider.
He was driving a 1974 model of the Rossa, the one that had seen motor icons such as Lauda and Regazzoni at the wheel. The thrill and thrill of trying his hand at a car from a mechanical era light years away from the current one had persuaded him to accept. And then you can’t resist the charm of a circuit like Monte Carlo.
All very nice at least until Leclerc spun and crashed into the barriers at La Rascasse, damaging the rear wing. It was not a human error or lack of familiarity with a racing car from the past. The Ferrari driver’s accident was caused by a very serious mechanical problem with the braking system: a failure that occurred during the third lap on the city track. He managed to get back on the road but, noticing suspicious smoke coming from the back of the car, he stopped on the straight waiting for help.
— Motorsport France (@Motorsport_FR) May 15, 2022