Spanish Grand Prix : Preview
Grand Prix Line preview ahead of the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel leads the World Championship going into the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix after his victory in Bahrain. The German looks strong going into the European rounds of the World Championship however Spanish local, Fernando Alonso will hope he can put on a display for his adoring fans and add to his victory in China earlier in the season.
2012 Grand Prix Winner: Pastor Maldonado
2012 Pole Position: Pastor Maldonado
Circuit Length: 4.65 km
Key Overtaking Zone: Turn 1
Number of DRS Zones: 1
Last year the Spanish Grand Prix was won, to the surprise of many by Pastor Maldonado. Fans will remember the race-long battle between Alonso and Maldonado who eventually overcame the Spaniard through better strategic work in the pits. Will Maldonado win this year’s Spanish Grand Prix? Probably not, the Venezulian has failed to score in the opening four rounds of the championship and his Williams Formula One car has been well off the pace.
The Formula One drivers and teams will spend Friday’s practice sessions getting to grips with the changes made to the Pirelli tyres, which were announced last week. The Pirelli hard compound tyre has become more durable, forcing more decisive strategic calls by the teams. Pirelli have provided all the teams with two extra sets of hard compound tyres for use in the Friday practice sessions. Teams will look to use as much time as possible to better understand these new tyres although Pirelli claim they are very similar to the hard compound tyres used in the 2012 season.
The most successful driver to compete at the Spanish Grand Prix was Michael Schumacher with six Grand Prix wins at Circuit de Catalunya. Kimi Raikkonen is the only current driver who has won in Spain on multiple occasions with victories in 2005 and 2006 for McLaren and Ferrari. Both Red Bull Racing drivers have stood on the top step of the podium in Spain, Championship leader Vettel will be hoping to add to his victory here in 2011.
Circuit de Catalunya has hosted the Spanish Grand Prix for the past 22 years and is a favorite amongst teams as they have collected a wealth of data at the circuit in pre-season testing. The 4.65 km circuit is ideally suited to testing due to its medium set up between high and low downforce. The key overtaking area for the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix will be the first corner complex, which follows the DRS zone on the start finish straight. Turn 1 combines with a flowing chicane and should provide lots of overtaking at the start of the race. In 2012 Fernando Alonso was able to pass Maldonado for the lead of the race in the first corner.
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