Grand Prix 2023 Spanish Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

May 2006, 17 years ago, Lewis Hamilton was a young lad ripping up the grid for ART in GP2, Gnarls Barkley were half way through a 9 week run at Number 1 in the UK Charts with their single "Crazy" and David Tennant was battling the Cybermen as the 10th Doctor Who in the 2 part episode "Rise of the Cybermen".

What on earth has this got to do with F1 you ask?

Well, I shall tell you.

It was also the last Spanish GP held at the Circuit De Catalunya, Barcelona in which the long, 6th gear, double right hander of turns 13 and 14 were used. From 2007, a chicane was added before the final turn with the intention of causing cars to run more closely through the final turn and increase the chances of an overtake and making it safer. Predictably it had no effect what so ever and if anything, took away what was the only relatively interesting part of the track.

Fortunately, for 2023, the layout of the final turns will revert to the 2006 layout and we will once again be able to watch cars hammer it around the last corners and hopefully be on the ragged edge. Will this new layout make a massive difference to the eventual winner? Of course not. The Red Bull in it's current configeration will absolutely blitz this section of the track and be off and in the distance before Logan Sargeant has even had a chance to put his racing gloves on.

Born in April 2001, Oscar Piastri is currently the youngest driver on the grid having just turned 22. That would have made him 5 years old in 2006 when Fernando Alonso crossed the line to win the Spanish GP on the way to his second F1 world title. Will he win again on home soil for the first time since 2013? That 2013 Spanish GP also marks the last time he won a race anywhere. Despite 10 years of F1 races without a win, amazingly, Alonso has scored 93 points so far this season meaning he has already scored more points than he scored in the whole of each of the previous 6 seasons. While I doubt he'll be on the top step again a podium spot for the local fans to cheer is more than likely.

This will be the first real chance for Mercedes to prove that their new design of side pod will actually help their season and try and close the gap to Aston Martin. While Ferrari and Alpine will also be looking to kick on.

For those who can be bothered to watch to find out who will finish behind the Red Bulls, the UK session times are as follows:

First Practice2 June12:30
Second Practice2 June16:00
Third Practice3 June11:30
Qualification3 June15:00
Race4 June14:00
Davide Valsecchi has been stood down for making inappropriate comments to a female colleague - Former F2 champion suspended from Sky Sports after making sexist comments during 2023 F1 Spanish GP - Reports

Personally, whenever I have seen him in action, I've wondered why they bothered with him in the first place. I suppose he was working in a second language when on the main feed but he just seemed an overexcited fan who'd lucked his way to a microphone.
i remember him through F2 with Will buxton & he was very enthuastic & i think thats what got him the job in the 1st place. but does make you think do they forget their on camera, because especially next to a female host. to say that women has a nice upgrade package
valencia or catalunya. as it is a shame after 14 yrs of dreadful racing with that stupid chicane. we finally a somewhat entertaining spanish gp & theyve moved it to madrid
The stat that they're not posting is that 99% of fans think that this is a terrible idea, and that F1 would be better going to purpose built race tracks, rather than street- or hybrid-circuits

in a way i do agree, because i prefer purpose built circuits to street circuits but the recent street circuits have been quite good, arguably better than some purpose built circuits, if barcelona hadnt got rid of the chicane i dont think the fuss would be that much because they were year on year consistently top 3 worst race if not the worst race of the season. 2020 might be the most boring race ive ever watched

as you look at the 4 newest ones Yas Marina, COTA, Sochi, Lusail, only COTA has been a success, yes got dreadful Valencia & Miami but then you have Street Circuits Baku, Saudi Las Vegas have delivered better racing in comparison the 4 newer permeant circuits . i guess we've got to wait to see
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