Formula One drivers Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button are looking forward to this weekend’s Grand Prix in Barcelona, a punishing track they know all too well.
“Of all the current GP tracks, Barcelona is the one that we know the most because we have done so much testing there in recent years,” the Red Bull driver said Wednesday.
“In general, a car that functions well aerodynamically in Barcelona will work everywhere — so it will be an interesting weekend,” said the world title holder, who goes into the first European race of the season in first place in the standings on 53 points.
His closest rival so far, McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, believes there are no clear favourites for Sunday’s race.
“Our performance at Barcelona during winter testing looked promising — but the form of the season is still very hard to read, so it’s difficult to predict who’ll be at the front next weekend.” But Hamilton, who almost caught up with winner Vettel in last year’s race, is optimistic that his team can perform well over the weekend.
“I think we have a comparatively stronger car this year, so I hope we can have another strong race,” Hamilton said.
Button, who is on a par with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso on 43 points in the standings after four races, says that despite everyone knowing the circuit so well, only perfectly—balanced cars have a chance to succeed in Barcelona.
“Barcelona can be a funny circuit: we all test there so regularly that every driver knows it like the back of his hand, yet it can still be an extremely tricky place to get absolutely right.
“You need to have absolutely every box ticked if you’re going to win at Barcelona. It’s a place that punishes poor balance like almost nowhere else — if your car is understeering around here, then you’re going to really struggle,” he said.
The Catalunya racing weekend begins on Friday morning with the first practice session.
(This article has been edited for an error)
Keywords: Spanish Grand Prix