Bottas refutes Russell claim

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was completed in 1991 and the same year began hosting theSpanish Grand Prix. The decision to build the track in the town of Montmelo coincided with other construction projects designed for the 1992 summer olympics.

In fact the circuit did host the start and finish of the road team time trial at the 1992 Olympics and has been the home of the Spanish GP ever since.



Final turn debate

The circuit has transitioned through a number of configurations over the years, particularly to facilitate the MotoGP bike events and FIA endurance weekends held annually in Barcelona.

The Formula One circuit has had just one major modification and it was as a result of the changing nature of the F1 cars.

Overtaking and ‘drafting’ was relatively easy down the main straight during the 1990’s but as the aerodynamics of the cars developed the slipstream effect disappeared and the cars following were affected badly by the ‘dirty’ air from the car in front.



Extra pit stop in race likely

To counter this a chicane was added between the final two turns for two reasons. Firstly to improve safety given the relative lack of run off in the final corner and secondly to concertina the cars together before the long front straight.

The Chicane never really delivered from the overtaking perspective and since the 2022 aerodynamic regulations – which have reduced the dirty air making it easier to following – the FIA have decided this year to reintroduce the ‘original’ configuration and remove the final chicane.

One effect of re-introducing two final high speed corners will be that tyre wear should increase in the dry which may force the teams into an additional pit stop during the race.

Alonso suggests ‘incredible’ result in Spain



Russell believes its better

However, there is some debate over whether the removal of the chicane will enable cars to following more closely before the start finish straight and therefore facilitate overtaking.

Following the practice sessions in Montmelo, Mercedes’ George Russell told assembled media he believed, “It’ll probably help overtaking a little bit.

“Because the old layout is such a slow-speed corner, you can only get so close and then the guy puts his foot down and disappears,” explained Hamilton’s team mate.



Bottas refutes Russell claim

Yet the more experienced Valterri Bottas believes the effects of the new layout could even make it more difficult to overtake.

“It’s going to be difficult to follow in the last corner, it is just faster, but I don’t think it will improve the overtaking,” claimed the Alfa Romeo driver.

“It’s slightly bumpy, a bit of movement which makes it more challenging, but it’s quite a cool corner.

“It’s super high-speed, so definitely a bit more challenging, but also it feels [like] the tyres are going through quite [a lot] through those two corners.”

Insider highlights Ferrari problems



Porpoising returns for Ferrari

During practice it is evident there is a bump in the circuit where the sub structure of the asphalt has subsided and this is causing certain teams significant problems.

The Ferrari car clearly becomes unsettled and worryingly has retired to the porpoising effect as it continues down the main straight.

Questions have been raised over the safety of the run off area in the final turn but Loan Sergeant had a flat out off at that corner as the rain began to fall during practice session three.

The Williams car scrubbed off almost all the speed as it hurtled through the gravel trap hitting the tech pro barrier at a relatively low speed.

READ MORE: Alonso angered by Aston Martin claims

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