Heading to the barcelona grand prix

Heading to the Barcelona Grand Prix

There have been changes made on the Circuit de Catalunya’s track layout. In place of the final two corners at the end of the lap is a chicane that flicks left and then right. The changes were made to boost safety and to encourage more overtaking especially at the event when drivers are following the car ahead more closely as they try to pass the other for the win. The new layout of the Circuit de Catalunya is created for better slipstreaming and to provide drivers with better room for overtaking.

The difference between racing in Europe from fly-away destinations is in terms of proximity of races. Add to that the fact that in Europe there is the McLaren technology Center that produces the high performance parts like Mercedes fuel pumps and more that are used by team during races. There is also the Mercedes-Benz high performance engines which allow the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team to depart for the Grand Prix to take part on flyaway races.

At the European races the team also operates from its modified trackside facilities. The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team takes its racing equipment to each Grand Prix transported by 15 Mercedes-Benz Actros of which seven are for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Communications Center with three of the vehicles remaining on the paddock as office space and support facilities.

The equipment weighs 30 tons of which include three race cars. The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team travels to the European Grand Prix with 135 team members which is 40 people more than at flyaway races.

Here are the quotes from the drivers:

Fernando Alonso: “As my home race, the Spanish Grand Prix is massively important to me. The support I receive from the crowd all weekend is immense and it really does give me extra motivation to have a great race for them. However, there is no more pressure on me or more focus from me, when I am in the car it is the same as any track, but it is my home and it is only natural to want to win. The race in Bahrain was not great for me, but I have arrived in Spain leading the World Championship and that is a good position to be in going into the European season. We had a strong test at this track earlier this week and we got to understand more about how the car performs at the Circuit de Catalunya and the changes to the layout. Although I have always really enjoyed the final two corners and their speed, the new chicane at the end of the track will hopefully lead to more overtaking during the race, which is great for the spectators.”

Lewis Hamilton: “It seems to have been a very long time since we last raced, and I cannot wait to get back in my car and back to the action. There has not been any relaxing on our part though, when I returned to the UK I had a couple of days before returning to the McLaren Technology Centre to work with the team on the development programme. This break has also given us the opportunity to get some serious physical training in. During the races, it is more about maintaining fitness levels, when we have a couple of weeks we can really focus on improvements in performance. The Barcelona track is great to race on, it will be interesting to see how the new chicane affects this. I enjoyed the GP2 weekend last year, where I achieved a second and fourth place, and am looking forward to fighting for more points for myself and the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team.”

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