Grand Prix 2011 Spanish Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

And so on to Spain, after the anti climax that was Turkey, it seems that no-one can stop Vettel as he marched to his 3rd win in 4 races and is in dominant form as we head to the Iberian peninsula. Despite the highest amount of overtakes since records began (126), a lot of people were questioning how authentic these overtakes were due to their artificial nature because of the DRS. The Spanish Grand Prix hasn't been known for its overtakes, indeed this is a track where more often than not, the driver who gets pole goes on to win so thats the race in the bag for Vettel. In 2010 the race was won by Mark Webber in the first of back to back wins from Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel. lewis Hamilton was on course for second until a wheel rim failure with two laps to go.

After a dominant performance in Turkey, Red Bull will be aiming at another one two in Spain, and on current form and given the nature of the track it is hard to see past the Red Bulls from extending their championship lead. However Ferrari and particularly Alonso have showed that Red Bull won't have it their own way and no doubt Alonso will be boosted by a capacity crowd all cheering him on. Mclaren planned to bring updates to Turkey but abandoned them and instead will introduce them this weekend to plug the ever increasing gap with Hamilton currently second in the drivers championship, over 30 points behind Vettel.

Mercedes were Jekyll and Hyde in Turkey and its not exactly hard to figure out who was who. Mercedes Rosberg has shown improved form recently and has been mixing with the Mclarens and Ferraris and with continued development, Mercedes will be confident of a top 5 finish this weekend.

Renault have seemed to have fallen back recently with Heidfeld and Petrov in the lower reaches of the points, their podium form of Australia and Malaysia now seems a distant memory and have now been overtaken by Mercedes in the development battle. In the midfield it is really tightening up as Toro Rosso have found a speed boost with Buemi claiming points in Turkey and Kobyashi coming from last on the grip to claim a top 10 position with Force India not holding the same level of competitiveness as the first few races with Di Resta's first DNF of his career.

While Team lotus didn't gain the jump that they hoped, they have high hopes that this weekend is the one where they establish themselves as a solid midfield runner while Virgin and HRT continue to fight it out over who gets the wooden spoon.

With the arguments over DRS raging on, no doubt we will see a circuit record of overtakes as cars breeze past each other down the main straight but if only one thing is certain it is that Red Bull will be right at the front barring major developments (or crashes)

For Galahads excellent circuit write up, see here
Nice intro MCLS :thumbsup:
You've almost made me look forward to it LOL

This race will be a real test of the new rules, although apparently the DRS zone at Spain is going to be the longest yet at over 800 metres, so we may see some overtaking.
Thinking about it, that's probably why they have made it as long :D

Oh and listen out for my basketball analogy in FP1 :chuffed:!/CroftyF1/status/67872846122188800
Even longer? If Barcelona gets more than 126 overtakes, i think that will show how much a mockery DRS is...
I think everyone should fear Fernando Alonso In Montmelo. A lot of updates that were planned for Ferrari in Turkey were held back to Spain, including the new exhaust blowing gases under the floor and a perforated diffuser similar to Red Bull.

Fernando Alonso took the 4th fastest car to the podium in Turkey, and I predict he will win the Spanish Grand Prix.
Unlike many others I'm looking forward to Spain just to see if the new rules can generate any excitement. I'm not expecting anything other than a Red Bull walk over but as long as there is some action down the field it shoudl be good.

Go Seb! (sorry Jen)
Thanks MCLS! This might be the most eagerly anticipated race at Catalunya in quite some time.

And it beats off almost exactly no competition for that title!

It will certainly have more than 10 overtakes LOL

Our flyaway Overtaking optimism has been destroyed by Barcelona before, but on the bright side they all test far less at the circuit which could help prevent Noah's Ark!
I think it's worth adding that the tyres could have a major impact on the race. Pre-season testing saw some exceptionally high wear rates, and Catalunya has been known as a tyre killer for a long time. I well remember 1997, when Goodyear miscalculated and Olivier Panis came close to winning in his Bridgestone-shod Prost.

The teams will be thankful that the long, fast corners at the end of the lap have been replaced by a slow chicane, at least.
I hate that chicane, I actually thought the circuit was better without it.

That chicane is an absolute mess of an idea. OK, so they wanted to get rid of the high-speed corner to promote overtaking, but it hasn't worked so at least let us see them going flat out around the last corner. Worst of both worlds!

Its like if they kept that ridiculous chicane at Eau Rouge in 1994!
There have been 20 races at this track and all but one of them has been one from the front row and that was 3rd in 1996

Its like if they kept that ridiculous chicane at Eau Rouge in 1994!

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