2009 Spanish GP Preview

2008 Spanish GP - The last F1 win for Kimi Raikkonen to date

2008 Spanish GP - The last F1 win for Kimi Raikkonen to date

The European F1 season starts this weekend in Barcelona. Many teams plan to bring updated and upgraded cars to this Grand Prix and as a result we may (or may not) see some shake up in the order. Here is very quick overview of who plans to bring what to Spain:

Ferrari – The Ferrari F60 will feature a new aero package that was always scheduled to debut at the Spanish Grand Prix – new bodywork, with modifications to front and rear wings among other elements. In addition to the scheduled updates there are also some extra changes, originally scheduled for the Turkish and British events – especially the new diffuser.

McLaren – The team has been upgrading their car bit by bit reducing the gap to the leaders. In Barcelona they are expected to run with new version of their rear diffuser.

BMW Sauber – A substantial upgrade is expected from the BMW Sauber team but they will not use the double diffuser yet. Moreover they plan to run both cars without KERS in Spain.

Renault – The R29 will feature a new rear wing and new wheel fairings this weekend with quite a major design change to give them an increase in downforce. They will also bring new version of their super diffuser and floor.

Toyota – I haven’t seen anywhere any specifics on the updates Toyota plans to introduce in Barcelona other than that there will be aero upgrades …

Red Bull / Toro Rosso – Red Bull is likely to bring the double diffuser to Turkey but some aero upgrades for both Toro Rosso and Red Bull are expected in Spain.

Williams – Williams, one of the three original super diffuser teams, will bring new parts to Spain although no specifics are available.

Force India – Force India introduced new diffuser and floor in Bahrain already. Further updates are expected for Barcelona. The team however does not plan to race with KERS this weekend although it was their provisional plan.

Brawn GP – We should see the first major upgrade to Brawn GP car since the start of the season. The team expects gain of 2-3 tenths. They definitely need that as their early season dominance was no longer the case in Bahrain.

(click on the image to enlarge)

The Grand Prix circuit near Barcelona is one that every F1 team knows well from the hundreds of kilometres of testing. It offers variety of medium and high-speed corners and it is widely acknowledged as the definitive aero circuit. Aerodynamic efficiency is always a key factor at Barcelona, although the introduction of the chicane at the end of the lap in recent years has replaced on of the most critical high-speed parts of the lap. The circuit still remains the ultimate aero package test and teams will run with high downforce levels. Few big braking zones and so many high-speed corners result in extremely difficult overtaking.

The engine is not under particular stress at any point and only 61% of the lap is spent on full throttle.

Barcelona is well known for being demanding on tyre wear because it includes many long, high-speed corners and has a fairly abrasive track surface. The tyres are under high loadings, particularly the front left which has to work hard through turn 3 as well as turn 9. Bridgestone will supply the hard and soft compounds.

The 2008 Spanish GP was won by Kimi Raikkonen (his last F1 win so far) ahead of his team mate Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton. 2008 Spanish GP was also the last F1 race for Super Aguri.

Photo: Shell Motorsports
Track Diagram: Bridgestone Motorsports

2 Comments Post a Comment
  1. TimmieNo Gravatar says:

    Should be an interesting race, hard to pick who will be on top yet with updated flooding in, though i don’t expect it to change much the order of things at the moment!

    Hoping Raikkonen shows up to race this weekend, he will be running a lighter chassis than Massa this weekend to compensate for the weight difference with KERS (Massa will get the same chassis next race). He really needs to show he can back his driving from last race!

    I think the win is between Brawn GP – respectively Button and Red Bull – respectively Vettel.

    Renault keep clammering on about all this time they are going to make up with their “super” diffuser and upgrades and blah blah blah, but i don’t really expect them to make much of a dent.

    Quiet teams doing their work are the ones who will stand out, which so far has been Red Bull and suprisingly Mclaren have slowly improved even with all their dramas before the season started.

    BMW are a worry, Either the media are digging for dirt or Kubica is very unsettled at the moment with the team, they definitely made some errors there in the car and are re-thinking a lot of things at the moment, hopefully they can bounce back too!

    In the end other teams winning is the best thing about this season so far, and it is very nice to see that the big teams we usually see on top are the ones who are struggling and playing catch up. Inevitably they will make that ground back but it is good to see that some of the smaller teams can out think the giants every now and then, which is exactly what this sport needs!!

    Hopefully the FIA learn to talk and work with the FOTA over the coming months otherwise next year may be a non-event at this rate, plenty of people for and against a lot of things in the new regulations and it’s only going to get messier as the year goes on.

  2. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Good morning :) The look from the free practice is getting very interesting, the new technical rules gave a new lap scheme to the drivers, the high speed turns are becoming a game with the accelerator and the grip, and seems to me that it will be really difficult to see someone trying to run flat out, but anyway the cars look extreme agile, that may be lead and forced by the nervous nature of the car’s configuration, and more or less all the cars look unbalanced on the heavy breaking corners and the swift direction changes form the circuit. I would say there are many chances that in such circuits with identical setup (Spa, Nurburgring, Istanbul and Suzuka) there will be the most competitive races, where not so many differences should appear in the overall, but it’s easy to lose the front from the car and apparently just bounce during braking sections, there’s no room for error!

    Kotenoks last blog post..Arun is now a member of F1Wolf Club


2014 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
Sebastian VETTEL
Fernando ALONSO
Adrian SUTIL
Force India
Sergio PEREZ
Felipe MASSA
Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
Daniil KVYAT
Jean Eric VERGNE

2014 F1 Calendar

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