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Old 7th May 2014, 09:03   #1
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Post 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

European season gets underway this weekend and we shall know this weekend whether anyone has been able to close the gap to Mercedes.

Circuit de Catalunya is a highly enigmatic circuit, which always changes with temperature and wind conditions. A car that flies in the morning can be noncompetitive in the afternoon without anything being changed on the car itself. There is, then, plenty of scope for teams to go the wrong way on set-up this weekend and that could cost them.

The Circuit has a bit of everything in terms of corner types and is a very good test of a car’s aerodynamic efficiency. The most important sector of the lap is the final one, which features low-speed corners. The most lap time gain and loss is here. Performance in the final sector is often taken as an indicator of how well a car will go at the next race in Monaco.

The circuit layout
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Circuit de Catalunya; 4.65 kilometres. Race distance: 66 laps = 307 KM, 16 corners in total, considered the best test of an F1 car’s aerodynamic efficiency due to combination of variety of corner speeds.

Race Strategy Briefing
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2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread-capture2.jpg
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The 2013 podium had a very surprising 1 - 3 by the Ferrari boys. It will be interesting to note whether the thousands of screaming Spaniards in attendance can boost the F14 T this year.
2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread-aleqm5jg2b6vzlp6intfre0_ifqecemoa.jpg

Tyres and stops
Pirelli tyre choice for Spain: Hard and Medium.
Catalunya is a tough track on tyres, with the long Turn 3 the most difficult corner. It is taken at 240 km/h and the corner lasts for four seconds, which puts a heavy load on the left-front tyre. The surface generally is also quite abrasive.

This year’s tyres are more stable and more durable, so we are likely to mainly see three-stop strategies. Practice running on Friday will determine the relative pace of the medium and hard tyres and the likely pattern of usage of the two compounds for the race. It’s likely that most will start the race on the faster medium tyres. With some high energy right-hand corners, the limitation will be with the tyres on the left side of the car, particularly the front; when their performance starts to drop off it will be time to pit.

Weather Forecast
The forecast looks good, with temperatures around 20 to 21 degrees , sunshine and a low chance of rain. The wind is often a significant factor at this track, sudden gusts and crosswinds can upset the balance of the cars, particularly in the final sector.

TV Timings
Channels: SS4 and SS HD2

FP1 - 1:20 PM (Fri)
FP2 - 5:20 PM (Fri)
FP3 - 2:20 PM (Sat)

Q - 5:20 PM (Sat)
Race - 5:20 PM (Sun)

Courtesy: JA on F1

Last edited by deetjohn : 7th May 2014 at 09:12. Reason: Adding corrected pics.
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Old 7th May 2014, 13:15   #2
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Default Re: 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

The opener of the European races & Fonso's home race is here . Still, unless Alonso & Ferrari pull a trick out of their hat, I think the best he can hope for is a podium finish. Mercs are too f-a-s-t & Renault is talking of bringing a more powerful motor here.

What I'm really looking forward to is seeing Ricciardo race. Superb talent man, you have to be really, really good to beat Vettel in a team centered on Vettel.
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Old 7th May 2014, 22:24   #3
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Default 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

Just read on formual1.com that Vettle will be using new chassis for Spanish Grand Prix along with major update package as well. Let's see how the new chassis perform.

Red bull stated that it has nothing to do with Vettle's current form. But I believe that, Vettle may have pushed for different chassis.

Last edited by Nitrous Power : 7th May 2014 at 22:26.
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Old 7th May 2014, 23:50   #4
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Default Re: 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
What I'm really looking forward to is seeing Ricciardo race. Superb talent man, you have to be really, really good to beat Vettel in a team centered on Vettel.
He is quick, but in a car that is not suiting Seb at all.

Last edited by Hatari : 7th May 2014 at 23:51.
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Old 8th May 2014, 12:53   #5
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Default Re: 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

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Originally Posted by Hatari View Post
He is quick, but in a car that is not suiting Seb at all.
I agree.

But when have we seen champions like Schumacher & Alonso being beaten by their team-mates 3 races in a row, because the car didn't suit them?

IMHO, true champions should be able to extract the best out of any car. Schumacher drove a truck in some of his Ferrari years, yet comprehensively defeated his team mate. Alonso hasn't had the best car in the last 4 years, and has still consistently beaten Massa / Kimi.

Rules are changing every year. It's best that drivers adapt to the car, rather than the other way around.
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Old 8th May 2014, 13:39   #6
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Default Re: 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

Forza ferrari. Viva Alonso.
The prancing horse has to get their house in order to look at a realistic chance of a podium.

Hopefully, Ferrari would pull a rabbit out of their hats and let Mercedes have a run for their money.
Lets bleed Red !!!
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Old 8th May 2014, 14:14   #7
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Default Re: 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Alonso hasn't had the best car in the last 4 years, and has still consistently beaten Massa / Kimi.
Consistently beaten Massa, yes.

Consistently beaten Kimi, not yet.

Coming back from rallying, he still had the pace and stood #3 in the championship in 2012.

If he did race for the last couple of race in the 2013 season, I am sure he would have again been at the #3 spot, why #3 he also had a chance to get Alonso off the #2 spot. Either Hamilton or Webber made this comment, that their driver standings were unaccountable when one of the drivers wasn't even racing and was still just 1 or 2 positions behind.

He's got what it takes, driver form might vary every season. Alonso hasn't had the best car in the last 4 years, but has a slightly more suitable car for his taste now, Kimi doesn't. Plus, a new team, a new car, more rules....

Let's see if the upgrades work in favour (of both) @ the Spanish GP.

Kimi still stands as the last champion for Ferrari. (Fanboy talk)

Full list of WDCs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...#39;_Champions
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Old 8th May 2014, 14:54   #8
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Default Re: 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I agree.

But when have we seen champions like Schumacher & Alonso being beaten by their team-mates 3 races in a row, because the car didn't suit them?

IMHO, true champions should be able to extract the best out of any car. Schumacher drove a truck in some of his Ferrari years, yet comprehensively defeated his team mate. Alonso hasn't had the best car in the last 4 years, and has still consistently beaten Massa / Kimi.

Rules are changing every year. It's best that drivers adapt to the car, rather than the other way around.
Ofcourse. But at the same time doesnt mean Ric is phenomenal. It could just mean Seb is poor at driving a mis handling car.
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Old 9th May 2014, 16:07   #9
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Default Re: 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

Friday Practice session 1 is over. Few surprises,
1. Hamilton
2. Button
3. Ricciardo
4. Alonso
5. Rosberg
6. Raikonnen
7. Magnussen
8. Maldonado
9. Perez
10. Massa

Excerpts from Formula1.com official report.
"Going into the final minutes it was Button, perhaps surprisingly, who was fastest, on 1m 27.891s, from Ricciardo on 1m 27.973s. Hamilton was third on 1m 28.028s, but right at the end the winner of the past three races banged in a 1m 27.109s and followed that with 1m 27.023s to remind everyone who was boss just as the chequered flag fell."

Hamilton still faster than the next car by 0.868 second

It would interesting to observe Practice 2 and confirm if the updates to the car are really working well for McLaren and Redbull. Although it was a bad session for Vettel as his car with new chassis ran into problem and he could finish only 4 laps.
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Old 9th May 2014, 21:50   #10
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Default Re: 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

Free Practice 2 results:

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Lewis in a league of his own both on one lap pace and in terms of long run pace. Only driver consistently in the mid 1m30s to low 1m31s range, and nearly a second quicker than Ricciardo at the end of a long run of the same length on the mediums.

Free Practice 2 Speed Trap data:

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Thoroughly amazed at the speeds these cars are pulling on the straights. 335 km/h on a high downforce track like Catalunya is absolutely insane. Can't wait to see the top speeds at low downforce tracks like Montreal, Spa and Monza.
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Old 10th May 2014, 19:17   #11
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Default Re: 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

Another duel between Mercs for P1 and P2. Nothing impressive since both of them knew very well before the final run that the best case was P1 and worst case was P2 based on the time they set earlier in the session. The risk and pressure of getting to the third or fourth row in case of a goofed up final attempt makes the pole lap commendable. This season, Mercs rarely face a risk when running a pole lap.

Its a pity that Vettel had issues, otherwise we could have seen a VET-RIC battle which looks unlikely even during tomorrow's race.

Grosjean and Maldonado lived up to the expectations - Grosjean by getting into Q3 and Maldonado crashing as usual.

Alonso wont be happy to start his home race behind Kimi. He seemed to be much more comfortable with the prime tyres. I wouldn't be surprised if Alonso gets a preferential treatment since it is his home race.

Quote:
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Kimi still stands as the last champion for Ferrari. (Fanboy talk)
Going by the way Ferrari cars perform, that statistic could remain for a long time to come.

Last edited by zenren : 10th May 2014 at 19:21.
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Old 10th May 2014, 19:44   #12
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Default Re: 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

Red Bull much quicker than Ferrari and Lotus too have found some decent pace.. clearly a lot to do with the PU, Renault seem to have finally extracted desired HP from it. Ferrari are a second off in Quali.. hope the race turns out better. Good to see Kimi get his car sorted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenren View Post
Grosjean and Maldonado lived up to the expectations - Grosjean by getting into Q3 and Maldonado crashing as usual.

Alonso wont be happy to start his home race behind Kimi. He seemed to be much more comfortable with the prime tyres. I wouldn't be surprised if Alonso gets a preferential treatment since it is his home race.

Going by the way Ferrari cars perform, that statistic could remain for a long time to come.
Maldonado continues to drive like a rookie. Good thing he has the PDVSA millions backing him.
Preferential treatment..towards what end? this only occurs when the WDC is on the line. For Ferrari that is practically impossible.
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Old 10th May 2014, 20:21   #13
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Default Re: 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

Hamilton faster by something like .150 or .2 seconds than Rosberg. Wow. And Rosberg spoke last time like he would decimate Hamilton.

I think by now it is undoubted that the fastest man in F1 is Lewis Hamilton. I won't say he's the best during a race, because he's prone to mood swings, but when it comes to quali, this guy will beat everyone in an equal car.
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Old 10th May 2014, 20:58   #14
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Default Re: 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

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I think by now it is undoubted that the fastest man in F1 is Lewis Hamilton. I won't say he's the best during a race, because he's prone to mood swings, but when it comes to quali, this guy will beat everyone in an equal car.
There is no doubt that HAM has better pace than ROS. It is unfair to compare Hamilton with anyone else based on his performance this season since no one else has a car that is even close to what Hamilton has.

Mercedes and Red Bull were comparable last year on the qualifying day when tyre management was not an issue for Mercs and Hamilton was not miles ahead of Vettel - they traded poles between them. I would put HAM, VET, ALO in the same league as RAI, RIC and HUL. The rest like ROS, BUT, MAS etc are a level below.
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Old 10th May 2014, 21:03   #15
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Default Re: 2014 Spanish GP - Circuit de Catalunya - Race Thread

Intense qualifying session, watching the battle of the Merc drivers. Rosberg looked faster all the way through till Q2, but Hamilton pulled the speed out when it mattered in Q3.

Brilliant performance by both Bottas and Grosjean to line up 4th and 5th respectively. Lotus seems to have found a fair bit of pace between races. Kimi out-qualifying Alonso for the first time this season on Alonso's home turf was quite surprising.

Looking forward to the race tomorrow.

Qualifying Results:

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Qualifying Speed Traps:

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