Spanish Grand Prix Preview – Mercedes GP Petronas
The Spanish Grand Prix, Round Five of the 2011 Formula One World Championship, takes place on Sunday 22 May at the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona.
• The track has hosted the Spanish Grand Prix since 1991, and Mercedes-Benz powered cars have won five times.
• Of the 20 Grands Prix held at this circuit, 16 have been won from pole position, including the last ten in a row.
• The 440m run from the grid to the first corner is the second longest of the season after Sepang.
• The new development ‘hard’ compound Pirelli tyre will be used in race conditions for the first time in Spain.
“The Spanish Grand Prix is traditionally where it really feels like the European season gets underway and holds a lot of good memories for me. Of course, we know the Circuit de Catalunya very well from testing, but it will be interesting to see the effect of KERS, the DRS and the Pirelli tyres on a track where overtaking is always difficult. While I was not happy with my weekend in Turkey, there have been clear signs of improvements for us as a team, which obviously push and re-boost my motivation even more. It’s more than encouraging to see that the hard work of the team is starting to pay off. We are all determined to make progress.”
“Our upward trend is clear for all to see, even though we still have a little more progress to make in race configuration compared to qualifying. I’m looking forward to Barcelona, where we will also be introducing an update package for the car, and I’m excited to see how it works. We showed a good level of performance at the final winter test on this circuit, and hopefully we can translate that into a strong result this weekend.”
Ross Brawn, Team Principal
“The last two races in Turkey and China have proved that we can be quick in certain conditions but we need to focus on achieving that level of performance consistently over the entire race weekend. We will have an aerodynamic development package for the Spanish Grand Prix, along with refinements to our suspension package, which should help to find the consistency in the car that we are looking for. The Circuit de Catalunya is such a familiar venue to the teams that we should be able to maximise our practice time to focus on this, and I hope to see another step forward and a positive weekend.”
Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“The Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya is a serious yardstick for cars and drivers every year. While the layout of the circuit does not look particularly special at first glance, this track is in fact very special indeed: a car that can perform well here will perform everywhere. Like most other teams, we will introduce a number of technical upgrades at this fifth Grand Prix of the season. Our target is to continue the trend that we began two races ago in China, and to further improve our car.”