GP of Spain 2015 – Preview

Thu, 7 May 2015, 04:08

And finally the F1 arrives in Europe, which begins the second part of the season, with many believing it will start “a new championship”. Well, it is not so …

For starters, Ferrari and Mercedes have already declared that they will not change in its power units. These two teams are played cat and mouse and one is waiting for the other to see who will use the remaining tokens first. Ferrari has ten tokens available and Mercedes seven. Updates, so, will come on aerodynamics.

Starting with Ferrari, tests in the race simulator showed a gain of about four-tenths of a second per lap. What can we say? Wow! The Italians promise to Barcelona new spoilers in the front and rear, new air intakes for the brakes and deflectors and a new diffuser, which has an expressive importance in downforce.

Mercedes will bring a new front wing and with it all the parts related to it. As the car design had mostly designed from the front, one can imagine the importance of this update.

The question is: which one of the two managed to evolve more? If is Ferrari, the championship will bring more excitement. If is Mercedes, we will have a winner.

All the other teams, except Force India, will present updates, including the Manor.

Red Bull is already talking about “lean” in Williams, which in turn expects to do the same with Ferrari. Lotus says that will be able to fight with the two, and the other teams go on to say it will improve.

In fact, what we can expect in Barcelona is a more favorable track for Ferrari because of high tire wear: Pirelli will bring the medium and hard, then a Ferrari victory will not mean a Mercedes defeat for the rest of the championship, but if the reverse, then the truth will be revealed.

2015 GP of Spain at Circuit de Catalunya

Start time 1400 (local) / 1300 (BST)

Race distance 66 laps (full world championship points awarded after 75% distance/49.5 laps)

2014 winner Lewis Hamilton

2014 pole position Lewis Hamilton 1m25.232s 196.616km/h

2014 fastest lap Sebastian Vettel 1m28.918s 188.466km/h

Chances of a Safety Car Low. There have been five Safety Car periods since 2003 and
four of those were for first-lap incidents

Don’t put the kettle on between laps 18-20 and 40-43. Last year’s race was won using a two-stop strategy. The medium-compound tyre was the preferred race tyre, with most cars using the harder compound late in the race for a short dash to the flag

Weather forecast The long-term forecast looks good, with temperatures in the low-20s. The chance of rain is low

First race 1991

Circuit length 4.655km/2.892 miles

Run to Turn One 730 meters – the longest of the season

Longest straight 1.047km, on the approach to Turn One

Top speed 330km/h on the approach to Turn One

DRS zones Two – the first on the approach to Turn One, the second on the approach to Turn 10

Key corner Turn Three. This is a tricky uphill right-hander, through which the drivers get hard on the throttle before they can see the exit. A lot of time can be saved through here if your car has a good high-speed balance

Pit-lane length 331 meters

Major changes for 2015 None

Fuel consumption 1.7kg per lap, making it fairly average in terms of fuel consumption

Full throttle 63 per cent

Brake wear Medium. There are eight braking events, but only 13 per cent of the lap is spent braking and there are two long straights along which to cool the brakes

Gear changes 44 per lap/2904 per race

The end of the lap was re-profiled in 2007. A chicane was installed to slow the cars prior to the final corner, dropping the average lap speed by 12kph

by Ialdo Belo

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