Williams Martini Racing: Spanish Grand Prix Preview
The Catalunya circuit on the outskirts of Barcelona is well known to the drivers and teams, following two pre-season tests in February and March where we got an early glimpse of the performance of this year’s cars.
A staple on the calendars of not just Formula One but many other motorsport series, the layout combines long sweeping corners with twisty technical sections – a key reason why Formula One chooses this circuit to give its cars a thorough workout before the season starts. Williams has managed to secure six wins at the Spanish Grand Prix, including a memorable victory in 2012.
For Barcelona, Pirelli have made available the hard, medium and soft tyres. This will be the debut of the hard tyre this season. In Spain, Williams has chosen to allocate each driver with the same sets of tyres. Felipe and Valtteri will have one set of hard tyres, five sets of medium tyres, and seven sets of soft tyres available throughout the weekend.
The Circuit de Barcelona is a track we know well having completed eight days of pre-season testing at the venue. It is, however, a circuit that is very reactive to climatic conditions, even over the course of a day, therefore the car characteristics we saw in the temperatures of February and March, may not necessarily be indicative of what we will see in May. It is also the first appearance of the Pirelli hard compound tyres, which bares testament to the severity of the circuit. In general, we were happy with the car performance during testing, and hope we can repeat that level of competitiveness, or better, when it matters during the race weekend.
Barcelona is probably the track I’ve driven the most in my life because all of the pre-season testing normally takes place there. I like the track and I like Barcelona as city as well, it is a nice place to stay. The weather is always good around this time of the year. It is a nice event, overall, and there are plenty of fans, so it would be nice to have a good result there, especially because testing looked good for us there.
Spain is always a track that most of the drivers know 100% because we are always testing there in the winter. So I’d say that everyone pretty much knows the track. It is a circuit that a good car overall normally goes well because you have a little bit of everything; high-speed corners and low-speed corners. If the car works well here, it will work well on most of the tracks. I’m looking forward to having a good race there and hope that we can keep improving race by race, and keep scoring points. To be able to fight for a podium would be great. We know it won’t be easy but we will try everything we can.