Circuit de Catalunya: Wikis

  
  

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Coordinates: 41°34′12″N 2°15′40″E / 41.57°N 2.26111°E / 41.57; 2.26111

Circuit de Catalunya
Circuit de Barcelona
F1 Circuit de Catalunya - Tribuna.jpg
Main straight grandstands of Circuit de Catalunya
Location Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Time zone GMT +1
Major events F1, MotoGP, GP2, Spanish GT , DTM
Catalunya.svg
Length 4.655 km (2.875 mi)
Turns 16
Lap record 1:21.670 (Finland Kimi Räikkönen, Italy Scuderia Ferrari, 2008)

The Circuit de Catalunya aka Circuit de Barcelona is a racetrack in Montmeló, to the north of Barcelona, Catalonia. It is home to the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix and the motorcycle Catalonia Grand Prix. With long straights and a variety of corners, the Circuit de Catalunya is seen as an all-rounder circuit. As such it is probably one of the sport's most important testing grounds. Conversely, during actual racing, it has received criticism for being uneventful, with most races being a procession. Yet the Spanish Grand Prix remains a staple feature of the F1 season.

Contents

History

The Circuit de Catalunya was built in 1991 and is often referred to as 'Barcelona' in the racing community, despite the fact that it is located in Montmeló. The Circuit de Catalunya should not be confused with the Montjuïc circuit, which hosted the Spanish Grand Prix four times between 1969 and 1975 and, unlike the Circuit de Catalunya, is actually located within the city of Barcelona.

Because so much testing is done at this circuit, Formula One drivers and mechanics are extremely familiar with it. This has led to criticism that drivers and mechanics are too familiar with Catalunya, reducing the amount of on-track action.

When first used, overtaking was frequent as cars could follow closely through the last two corners and slipstream down the long straight. As aerodynamic balance became more critical, this overtaking method ceased as the cars were unable to follow each other through the fast final corner due to turbulence created by the leading car. This made it almost impossible for a car to get close enough to the car in front of it to attempt a pass at the first turn, which is the only obvious overtaking point on the circuit. The 2007 F1 Season saw the 1st of the 2 final sweepers replaced with a slow chicane in an effort to improve overtaking. However, the redesign did not noticeably increase the amount of overtaking.

Layout

Pit lane entrance

The wind direction at the circuit can change drastically during the day, a significant factor given the importance of aerodynamics to modern Formula One cars. It is then hard to find a good setup since cars can have massive aerodynamic drag and understeer on one part of the circuit in the morning, but suffer oversteer at the same part of the circuit in the afternoon. A given tyre compound can work well when tested, but not so well a couple of months later. These changeable conditions can make for an unexpected performances from some teams during the race.

Turns 1-3

Racing history

The circuit has been the site of some memorable moments. In the 1991 Spanish Grand Prix Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell went down the entire front straight side-by-side while dueling for second place, with Mansell eventually taking the position and ultimately the race itself. In the 1994 Spanish Grand Prix Michael Schumacher managed to finish in second place despite driving over half the race with only fifth gear. Two years later, in the 1996 Spanish Grand Prix Schumacher took his first win as a member of the Ferrari team after a dominant performance during a rainstorm. The 1999 Spanish Grand Prix was notable as there was only one reported overtaking move during the race. In the 2001 Spanish Grand Prix Mika Häkkinen suffered a clutch failure while leading the race on the last lap, handing the win to Schumacher. At the 2006 Spanish Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso became the first Spanish Formula One driver to win at his home country's track.

In 2008 Heikki Kovalainen left the track at 240 km/h (149 mph) after a wheel rim failure. He managed to decelerate to 130 km/h (81 mph) when he hit the tyre barrier. He was temporarily unconscious and had minor concussion but a few minutes later, spectators were relieved when he gave a thumbs up.

References

External links


Simple English

Coordinates: 41°34′12″N 2°15′40″E / 41.57°N 2.26111°E / 41.57; 2.26111

Circuit de Catalunya
Location Montmeló, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Time zone GMT +1
Major Events FIA Formula One
Spanish Grand Prix
FIM MotoGP
Catalonian Grand Prix
GP2, Spanish GT , DTM
Current
Circuit Length 4.655 km (2.875 mi)
Turns 16
Lap Record 1:21.670 ( Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari, 2008)
1991 Circuit
Lap Record 1:14.648 ( Fernando Alonso, Renault, 2006 )

The Circuit de Catalunya is a racetrack in Montmeló, to the north of Barcelona, Catalonia. It is home to the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix and the motorcycle Catalonia Grand Prix. With long straights and a variety of corners, the Circuit de Catalunya is seen as an all-rounder circuit. It is often used for off-season testing.[1]

History

The Circuit de Catalunya was built in 1991. It was planned to host its first race in 1992 to go with the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games were scheduled to take place in Barcelona.[1] The circuit is often referred to as 'Barcelona' in the racing community, even though it is located in Montmeló. The Circuit de Catalunya should not be confused with the Montjuïc circuit, which hosted the Spanish Grand Prix four times between 1969 and 1975. Unlike the Circuit de Catalunya, Montjuïc circuit is actually located within the city of Barcelona.

Because of so much testing is done at this circuit, Formula One drivers and mechanics are extremely familiar with it. This has led to criticism that drivers and mechanics are too familiar with Catalunya, reducing the amount of on-track action.


When the circuit opened, overtaking was frequent. Cars could closely follow each other through the last two corners. They would slipstream down the long straight for a pass. As aerodynamic balance became more important, this overtaking method became less effective. The cars were unable to follow each other as close. They would encounter turbulence created by the leading car. This made it hard for a car to get close enough to pass.[1] In 2007 the next to the last corner was replaced with a chicane. This was an effort to improve passing. The redesign did not increase the amount of overtaking.[1]

The Circuit de Catalunya also plays host to many other racing series, including Moto GP. The chicane which was put in for Formula 1 does not exist in the track layout for Moto GP, and there are at least five points on the track where riders are known to pass. As in Formula 1, turn one is the most popular place for overtaking.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Furnell, Claire (2009-11). "Circuit de Catalunya". en.espnf1.com. ESPN EMEA Ltd.. http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/circuit/1315.html. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 

Other websites

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