Much more than a Grand Prix. That’s what the Formula 1 Spanish GP of this week and it is no exaggeration to affirm it forcefully. The ‘Great Circus’ arrives at Barcelona, an appointment considered by all to be absolutely key for the remainder of the season. And in that sense, special mention must be made of the importance of this race for home drivers, Carlos Sainz Y Fernando Alonso, not only because of the emotion of the Asturian’s return to Barcelona after more than two years of absence, nor because of the fact that it will be the first home event in which Carlos pilots a Ferrari. It will be for much more than that.
2021 is an atypical year due to the few pre-season tests that there were, of only a day and a half per pilot, and also, due to the fact that these tests were carried out in Bahrain and not on the circuit where the tests are usually carried out, in Barcelona. This particularly affected drivers who changed teams and had to quickly adapt to their new car, as in the case of Carlos or Fernando on his return to the ring. Bahrain is a track from which much fewer conclusions could be drawn than Barcelona in order to understand the exact behavior of the car and acclimatize to it as soon as possible. Thus, both the Madrilenian and the Oviedo have had to progressively advance understanding their car in very different conditions both in Sakhir, as in subsequent quotes from Imola Y Bahrain.
But now comes a crucial race, the circuit that all teams use as a reference in their simulators to create their cars and their subsequent updates. Barcelona is the best thermometer to measure your current real strength, your weaknesses and strengths. Pedro de la Rosa said it a few days ago, at the presentation of the Spanish GP at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. “It is one of the most complete circuits for testing in the world, in terms of tires, engine, aerodynamics, but also, it is the best test circuit for the simulator that F1 teams have,” said Pedro.
It is one of the most complete circuits for testing in the world
“For example, when I was in Mclaren, if during the year he did 80 days of simulation training, 50 he did them in the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya because it is where the rider has more sensitivity to the corners, to the tires … there is no concrete reason to say that he is the best, but in all the teams I have been on it has always been the circuit that gave the engineers the most information ” , said the Catalan.
It is the circuit that gives more information to engineers
Therein lies the importance of this layout, and in that sense, it is the best circuit for you to Sainz and Alonso can draw much clearer conclusions from their cars to find their limit and reach 100% driving.
In this aspect, the most difficult thing in this process of adapting to a new car is to find that final tenth that makes the difference in qualifying, something that Alonso wants to emphasize this weekend.
“I want to get to Barcelona. We didn’t do preseason in Barcelona this year so it will be riding there for the first time with these cars and it is going to be a challenge. The chrono, which has been regular in the last races, both in Barcelona and in Monaco is going to be the most important thing of the weekend (since it is difficult to overtake in the race), so I have to put the batteries in that aspect and I will try to improve ”, commented the Oviedo in Portimao. For his part, Carlos has reiterated on many occasions that the Circuit is the track he knows best and where he can draw the most conclusions, as well as being his ‘talisman’, where his seasons are beginning to take off. Always, starting in Barcelona, the best Carlos was seen.
Final decision for all teams
For the reasons cited, the Circuit it is usually the path chosen by everyone to present a great package of updates. In this case, it will be essential for Alpine, Ferrari and the rest of the teams measure their strength in comparison to their simulations and to the rest of the teams to make an almost definitive decision regarding their strategy for the course.
All sets are already focused on creating the cars of 2022 due to the important rule change next year. Some do it completely and Others doubt when to stop their evolution this year to put all their resources into next year’s car. Barcelona will give key clues to all to decide your strategy, which will mark the positions that are seen on the track throughout the year.
The evolutionary battle between Mercedes and Red Bull
Crucial will be this aspect in the battle between Mercedes and Red Bull. Barcelona will serve to compare the performance of both cars in many respects. Both have the need to win the evolutionary race to succeed in the drivers ‘and constructors’ championships, but at the same time, they cannot afford to spare no effort for 2022.. All this, in the first year of implementation of the budget ceiling.