Formula One now moves to Barcelona for the next round in the F1 Calendar and there has already been drama before the cars have even set a wheel to the tarmac. Daniil Kvyat was forced to switch seats with Toro Rosso youngster Max Verstappen following “reckless behavior on track” (Umm Daniil, this is real life, not an F1 2015 lobby).
Some drivers welcomed the move because they felt that it would have the same effect as when Romain Grosjean in his early Lotus days wiped out a few drivers in Spa (the punishment was different though), others like Jenson Button felt that the Russian did not deserve such a harsh penalty especially after the fact that in the race prior to this, he had scored a podium.
Anyway, moving on to the preview for the Spanish Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg heads into the European leg of the championship having made a clean sweep so far and aiming to go one better. But he will have his work cut out for him as his teammate and defending world champion Lewis Hamilton will be hot on his tail.
Also gunning for glory will be the two Ferraris lead by Vettel and Raikkonen. Ferrari themselves have been rumored to have gone through a similar restructuring because our fly on the wall believes that Maurizio Arrivabene will be shown the door in favor of technical director James Allison.
In other news, McLaren team principal Ron Dennis is under the impression that at least 2 teams will fold before the season is out. Now it is no secret that Sauber is in deep financial trouble. Another team that could be joining them could be Force India. With Vijay Mallya on the run from the authorities regarding his financial woes (let’s not get into specifics, shall we?), the Indian outfit will be under the scanner.
The Circuit De Catalunya has been the venue for the Spanish GP since 1991 and has since been an integral part of the F1 calendar. Throughout the years, each race has never failed to get the adrenalin pumping. So let’s take a flying lap of the Circuit De Catalunya.
Hurtling down the main straight at breakneck speed, we go hard on the anchors for Turns 1 and 2. Many a chaotic moment has occurred at the start of the race, thanks to this right-left sequence. The two turns then spits you out into Turn 3 which is a long right-hander that leads into another right hander which almost seems like the driver is doing a full 360 degrees.
Turn 5 is one of the slowest bends that leads the car onto a slight kink that’s Turn 6 before braking again for Turn 7 and another kink that’s Turn 8. A fast right-hander that’s Turn 9, very easy to run wide at the exit of this corner.
A long back straight before braking hard for Turn 10. A quick left-hander at Turn 11 and flick it right for Turn 12 and 13. Then do a hard left-right for Turns 14 and 15 and rounding the final corner that brings you back to the start-finish to complete the lap.
The Spanish Armada: Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz are the sole Spanish drivers on the grid who will be flying the Spanish colors this weekend.
Practice 1: Friday 10:00am to 11:30am (Local Time), 13:30pm-15:00pm (Indian Time)
Practice 2: Friday 14:00pm-15:30pm (Local Time), 17:30pm-19:00pm (Indian Time)
Practice 3: Saturday 11:00am-12:00pm (Local Time), 14:30pm-15:30pm (Indian Time)
Qualifying: Saturday 14:00pm-15:00pm (Local Time), 17:30pm-18:30pm (Indian Time)
Race: Sunday 14:00pm (Local Time), 17:30pm (Indian Time)
India: Star Sports 4, Star Sports 4 HD
UK: BBC, Sky Sports