2022 Spanish Grand Prix - Preview

2022 Spanish Grand Prix - Preview

Formula One returns to Europe for Round 6 of the 2022 season at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain

  • Toto Talks Spain
  • Fact File: Spanish Grand Prix
  • Stat Attack: Spain and Beyond

Toto Talks Spain

With the third quickest car underneath us, we extracted the maximum points possible in Miami. Considering George’s start position, it was a great recovery drive, helped by when the Safety Car was deployed. But the timing was unfortunate for Lewis who was strong all weekend and on course to score P5 without the neutralisation of the race. I’ve no doubt that over the course of the season, a little luck will eventually go his way.

During Friday practice, the car showed flashes of its true potential. We continued experimenting with set-up, fitted some new components and that’s provided us answers and indications of which direction to go in.

A huge amount of hard work has been going on in the factories to unpick the data from Miami and turn it into improvements for Barcelona. Having run there in winter testing, albeit with a car that has evolved a lot since then, it will be a good place to correlate the information we have on the current car and we’re hopeful that we’ll make another step forward.

The track itself is a good all-rounder, so it really puts every aspect of the car to the test. It’s never been a great track for overtaking so it’ll be interesting to see how these new-shape 2022 F1 cars impact the on-track spectacle in Spain.

In basketball terms, we head to Barcelona at the end of the first quarter of the game. We know that once we translate the learnings we’ve made into track performance, there’s still a lot of the game left to play...

Fact File: Spanish Grand Prix

  • Overtaking is a challenge in Spain. The pit straight is the only long one and is entered via a high-speed corner, where it is tough for cars to follow due to the dirty air, while the end of the straight isn’t a particularly heavy braking zone either. The modifications to Turn 10 that debuted last year also haven’t helped, as the corner is now taken at a faster speed and requires less braking.
  • However, the Spanish GP venue will be a good test of whether these new 2022 technical regulations have made the cars easier to follow each other and better for overtaking. We’ve seen promising signs so far, which may well help drivers to make moves.
  • The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is an ideal track for testing an F1 car, as it has a wide range of corner types and speeds, plus some long straights. Slow-speed corners like Turns 14 and 15 focus on mechanical grip, but high-speed sections such as Turns 3 and 9 test a car’s aerodynamic grip.
  • Sector three is incredibly important and drivers can find a lot of lap time here in the slow corners. It can be rare for a driver to set three purple sectors at the circuit, because maximising grip and being faster in sector one will overheat the tyres for the crucial third sector.
  • Most of the track’s low-speed turns are left-handers and most of the right-handers are taken at high speeds. So slightly different car set-ups can be used on the left and right-hand sides, and that track characteristic also means the left tyres wear out quicker, while the right tyres experience lower temperatures.
  • Turn 5 is one of the track’s more unique corners, because drivers approach the corner differently depending on the session. The camber of the road drops at the apex, which unloads the inside-front tyre and increases the risk of lockups. Drivers will take a riskier, tighter line in Qualifying as it shortens the distance, but on a race stint, lockups can cause vibrations and damage the tyre, which could prompt an additional pit stop. So, they take a wider line to keep the load off the inside-front and reduce the potential of a lockup.
  • The wind at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya often changes direction during the day. Usually, we find there is a tailwind on the main straight in the morning, which produces a headwind into the high-speed turns. This helps provide better car stability. But then it tends to rotate in the opposite direction in the afternoon, giving drivers a tailwind into the fast corners and making the balance trickier.
  • 23 of the 31 races that have taken place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya have been won from pole, proving just how crucial Qualifying is.
  • Barcelona tends to be a higher-downforce track in terms of car set-up and wing level, so maximum speeds are towards the lower end of the list.
  • It has one of the longest runs from pole to the first braking zone of the season, with 579 metres before drivers hit the brakes for the opening sequence of corners.
  • Since we last raced in Barcelona in May 2021, the cars have changed drastically. This means the drivers are tackling corners at different speeds. For example, the long Turn 3 is now taken at 225 km/h, compared to 240 km/h in 2021. The fast Turn 9 is now a 250 km/h right-hander, whereas last year it was taken at around 265 km/h.
  • Barcelona was the scene of the first winter test of 2022. The cars have evolved significantly since then, so a lot of our learning and information from that opening test of the season needs to be reinterpreted, to see how it applies to the car we’ll have there this weekend.

Stat Attack: Spain and Beyond

2022 Spanish Grand Prix Timetable

Session

Local Time

(CEST)

Brackley

(BST)

Stuttgart

(CEST)

Practice 1 – Friday

14:00-15:00

13:00-14:00

14:00-15:00

Practice 2 - Friday

17:00-18:00

16:00-17:00

17:00-18:00

Practice 3 - Saturday

13:00-14:00

12:00-13:00

13:00-14:00

Qualifying - Saturday

16:00-17:00

15:00-16:00

16:00-17:00

Race - Sunday

15:00-16:00

14:00-16:00

15:00-16:00

Race Records – Mercedes F1 at the Spanish Grand Prix

Starts

Wins

Podium

Places

Pole

Positions

Front Row

Places

Fastest

Laps

DNF

Mercedes

13

7

14

9

17

4

5

Lewis

Hamilton

15

6

10

6

9

5

1

George
Russell

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

MB Power

29

12

29

13

25

9

20

Technical Stats – Season to Date (Barcelona Pre-Season Track Session to Present)

Laps

Completed

Distance

Covered (km)

Corners

Taken

Gear

Changes

PETRONAS

Fuel Injections

Mercedes

2,172

11,259

35,816

102,250

86,880,000

Lewis

Hamilton

1,058

5,488

17,476

49,752

42,320,000

George
Russell

1,114

5,770

18,340

52,498

44,560,000

MB Power

7,810

40,459

129,393

364,926

312,400,000

Mercedes-Benz in Formula One

Starts

Wins

Podium

Places

Pole

Positions

Front Row

Places

Fastest

Laps

1-2

Finishes

Front Row

Lockouts

Mercedes

(All Time)

254

124

266

135

250

94

58

80

Mercedes (Since 2010)

242

115

249

127

230

85

53

78

Lewis

Hamilton

293

103

183

103

173

59

N/A

N/A

George
Russell

65

0

2

0

2

1

N/A

N/A

MB Power

524

212

546

220

435

191

90

117



M313507
2022 Miami Grand Prix, Friday - Steve Etherington
M312047
2022 Miami Grand Prix, Friday - Steve Etherington
Selected media objects:
0
Please use the checkboxes to select media.
There are much more elements available. show?
Loading