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F1

29 Jul 2020

F1 2020: Spanish Grand Prix Track Guide - My team, career, time trial

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Turns 1 - 3

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Turns 4 & 5

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Turns 7 & 8

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Turn 9

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Turns 10 & 11

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Turns 12 & 13

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Turns 14 - 16

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Setup

Given its status as F1’s primary testing track, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one which is very familiar to both fans and drivers. However, there is always room to improve, even for the best.

With this track guide, you'll be able to find an extra tenth or two here and there in Spain.

Turns 1 - 3

The first corner at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one which is oh-so-satisfying when you really nail it.

F1 2020 Spain turn 1 Y

LATE BRAKING: Turn 1 requires commitment and bravery behind the wheel

First of all, you will need to brake around 75m before the corner. Really throw the car into the corner here, with a minimum speed at the apex of 99mph in 4th gear.

Try to get your right-hand wheels on the green runoff beyond the inside kerb, with your left-hand wheels remaining on the track itself.

The same applies for turn 2, but in reverse. Your left wheels need to be on the green stuff, with your right-hand tyres just about remaining on the tarmac. You should be steadily building up your speed from the exit of turn 1 through turn 2.

Once you are clear of 2, it’s time to floor the throttle. Get the car over to the left of the circuit in preparation for turn 3. This corner you can now take fully flat with relative ease.

Turns 4 & 5

On the way to turn 4, make sure that your car is once again as close as it can be to the edge of the track on your left. This will open up your line for turn 4 itself.

F1 2020 Spain turn 5 Y

UPS AND DOWNS: The track drops significantly through turn 5

It’s hard to spot the braking zone here, as the most obvious marker is the shadow from the advertising boards above which will move depending on the time of day you’re racing.

If you can spot the horizontal white line on the left of the track just before this overhead advertising board, then you will want to brake just before this.

As with turn 1, your minimum speed here is 99mph taken in 4th gear. Go for a tight apex on the entry to the corner before letting the car drift out wide as you gently unwind the steering lock through the corner.

The braking point for turn 5 is even harder to identify. The best guide I can ascertain for this is to brake just before the large white box behind the barriers on the right of the track disappears off of your screen.

For the apex of 5, you’ll go as low as around 60mph in 2nd gear. Be careful with your braking here, as it is very easy to lock up with your front left tyre as the track falls away.

Try to keep as tight a line as you can, and getting the car straight on exit is a must before you can put the power down properly.

Turns 7 & 8

After the brief downhill charge which is turn 6 you will reach turn 7. Here, you will need to brake as the kerbing on the outside of the corner begins.

F1 2020 Spain turn 7 8 Y

SLIPPERY WHEN WET: Turn 8 can catch you out in any conditions

As with turn 2, it’s best to cut this corner with as much of your car as you can get away with. Be sure to keep at least two wheels on the track itself though.

The minimum speed here should be around 103mph in 4th gear. Don’t allow the car to run too wide on exit or else you will struggle with the uphill kink that is turn 8.

For 8, you should find the car leaning on the kerbing on the right of the track without riding it too heavily. It’s very easy to unsettle the car on this part of the track, so be carful with your throttle.

Turn 9

This corner is probably the most iconic part of the Spanish Grand Prix circuit. As you climb the hill, move your car to the left of the track so that your angle of approach for turn 9 will be better.

F1 2020 Spain turn 9 Y

GOING IN BLIND: The elevation of turn 9 limits visibility as you go through it

Turn in for the corner just as the kerb on the left of the track ends. Aim to run over the inside kerb with your car so that your two right-hand wheels are on the green stuff with your left-hand wheels just about remaining on track.

If you get your line right, you can take the corner fully flat out. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so consider a slight lift here if you feel your car can’t handle it.

Turns 10 & 11

After the DRS straight you will arrive at the hardest braking zone of the track, turn 10. Jump on the brake pedal 125m before the corner, taking your speed down to roughly 50mph in 2nd gear at the apex.

F1 2020 Spain turn 10 Y

HEAVY BRAKING: Turn 10 will test your brakes more than any other corner here

It’s best to clip the inside kerb without riding it. If you take too much of this kerb, your car will be thrown wide on the exit.

As soon as you are sure that you won’t run out of track or grip, floor the throttle for the short burst to turn 11.

For 11 itself, it’s possible to take it flat if you take the perfect line. This involves clipping the inside kerb ever so slightly. However, a small confidence lift here won’t cost you much time at all.

Turns 12 & 13

As soon as you are out of turn 11 you are in to turn 12. For this right-hander, its best to keep as tight to the inside kerb as you can.

F1 2020 Spain turn 12 Y 1

VISTA: A view of the mountains beyond the Catalunya circuit

You should brake a little going into the corner, going down to about 80mph in 3rd gear at the lowest. Slowly apply the throttle as the track starts to open for the exit. The bollard on the inside is your cue to unwind your steering and lay the power down before 13.

After another very brief dash you’ll be hit by turn 13. On the entry to the corner you should be well over to the left of the track so that only your right-hand wheels are still on the tarmac, while your left wheels are on the green stuff.

Brake for the corner just after the gap in the barriers to your left. Use the red and white kerb on the inside of the corner without touching the large yellow kerbing, as the latter will unsettle your car massively.

You should find yourself at around 91mph in 3rd gear at the apex of 13. On the exit, try to get the power down quickly to blast your way to turn 14.

Turns 14 - 16

Try to get the car as far to the right of the track as you can before reaching turn 14. Your braking point here is when the black advertising boards above your head disappear off screen.

F1 2020 Spain turn 14 15 Y

FINAL CHICANE: This part of the circuit was redesigned in 2007

Brake down to 58mph in 3rd gear and take as tight a line through 14 as you can so that you can have a better shot at turn 15.

You shouldn’t need to brake for turn 15, but you may need to lift the throttle slightly. Aim to take as much inside kerb as you can without hitting the yellow lump.

Run onto the green runoff on your left with half of your car. Once none of your wheels are on the red and white kerbs you should be able to floor the throttle.

The final corner of the track, turn 16, can be taken fully flat with ease.

Setup

As ever, it's important to use the right setup to get the most out of the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya. If you are in need of one, then look no further than our Spanish Grand Prix setup guide.