2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix begins a summer tour across Europe this weekend at the Spanish Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
Barcelona is the key to success in a balanced car that can cope with high-speed media at different angles to form a circuit. Sebastian Vettel, who started second, four-stop strategies are needed to take victory in the race which featured 51 overtaking maneuver - only 29 are facilitated by the DRS.
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Race Date: 13 May 2012
Time:Saturday 12 May 2012
Practice 3 11:00 - 12:00
Sun 13 May 2012
Lotus last week looked very impressive at Mugello test. Red Bull are not far from the pace for the week, and McLaren and Mercedes can not be ignored ahead of Spain. These teams are more focused on collecting data through a long walk, so time does not represent the actual speed of their cars.
The most successful of the current drivers in Barcelona are Michael Schumacher, who has won this event six times. He was not convinced that Mercedes will be able to challenge for victory on Sunday though, claiming that the characteristics of the Circuit de Catalunya does not seem to fit with MGP W03 in the pre-season testing.
Circuit Name: Circuit de Catalunya
Number of Laps: 66
Circuit Length: 4.655 km
Race Distance: 307.104 km
Lap Record: 1:21.670 - K Raikkonen (2008)
Interestingly, of the six world champions on the grid, only one did not win the race at the Circuit de Catalunya is Lewis Hamilton. Apart from a disappointing eighth place in Bahrain, the 2009 world champion has been a model of consistency in 2012, he should have a good chance to get the first ever F1 win in Spain.
With each team will bring a raft of significant upgrades to Spain this weekend, orders could come more clearly. The team that has made good progress will begin to withdraw from others, and some teams could even begin to fall back through the field. Assuming the track remained dry, the Spanish Grand Prix weekend should be a contest which will give an indication of how the rest of the season will go well.