What we’re saying about the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix
Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
11-12-13 May 2012
All you need to know >>> Race date 13 May…Laps 66…Circuit length 4.655km…Race distance 307.104km…16 corners, mostly right-handers…Direction clockwise…A real home from home due to its close proximity to the teams’ bases and intimate knowledge of the track from copious testing…Circuit hallmarks – contains several medium-high speed corners that test a tyre’s performance to the max and lead to a significant degree of wear and degradation…circuit layout puts emphasis on the front-left tyre in particular, which does most of the work…abrasive asphalt compounds tyre wear issues…Tyre nomination – Pirelli P-Zero Silver hard and P-Zero Yellow soft, the first time these two compounds have been combined this season…
The Spanish Grand Prix, Round 5 of the 2012 Formula One ™ World Championship, heralds the start of the sport’s European season, when everything seems to move up a gear. The Championship really starts to gather pace and, traditionally, the true form of the respective teams has started to shake out at this point, but given that the races so far have thrown up a fair few surprises, many believe this season may prove to be something of an anomaly in terms of any one team running away with the show, and that the 2012 race could remain wide open for some time yet.
The Circuit de Catalunya also marks the debut of what is usually the first and most comprehensive update package of the season for pretty much all of the teams and the Marussia F1 Team is no exception. At last week’s test in Mugello, the team fielded its new aerodynamic upgrades for the first time and, although the two circuits are markedly different, there were clear signs that the team may be able to meet its objective of making another significant step closer to its immediate competitors.
Timo Glock, Driver #24
“I am looking forward to the Spanish Grand Prix and the start of the European season. After racing overseas for the opening rounds it is great to be back in Europe. The logistics are much easier for the team and the journey is shorter for everyone, so we can get straight down to business. After the tests in Mugello I think we have a good baseline for Barcelona and now we need to see what the new parts we have will bring. I hope they make a difference and we can be a bit closer to the guys in front of us. I am looking forward to the race weekend again.”
Charles Pic, Driver #25
“Our objective for Spain is to make a step forward and get a little bit closer to the competition. Based on what we have seen at Mugello, I think this is possible. We have a good update and the car feels positive, so if we can make it work at Barcelona, I think we can continue to be strong at the other circuits. As a team we have goals and also on a personal level I want to keep progressing. I feel settled and comfortable with the team and the car, so I now want to keep improving. The Circuit de Catalunya is a track I know well; I have raced here a few times now. I am feeling good about the direction we are heading in and I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“The Circuit de Catalunya is a bit like an old glove in that it is a track that we know so well and feel very comfortable with. If a package works well here, then it is a good barometer of how much of a step forward we have made, more so than Mugello, where we saw a clear step forward but at what is a less representative circuit. Barcelona has a bit of everything in terms of circuit characteristics, so it should showcase just how much of an improvement our improvements are, although we are only too aware that the rest of the field has not been standing still over the past few weeks. It feels good to be heading back to Europe. We enjoy all the race destinations but those that are pretty much on our doorstep certainly make life easier for the team in logistical terms. With the trucks and motorhome to hand, it feels like we could almost be back at the factory in Banbury when we’re racing. Our start to the season was certainly expeditious but we’ve caught up with ourselves a little now, have a far better understanding of the MR01, and we consolidated our learnings at the test last week. We seem to have developed a good rhythm now and we are on a good trajectory. For that reason I am confident that there is a lot more to come from the car and the drivers this season, so we head to Europe feeling excited and confident. It will also be the first race where we have our F1 team and our junior formulae teams racing on the same asphalt, so we will be keeping a close eye on their progression. Our test driver Maria De Villota is also joining us on what is home turf for her, so there is a lot going on this weekend.”