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Why F1 drivers are seeking Spanish GP track changes

Why F1 drivers are seeking Spanish GP track changes

F1 News

Why F1 drivers are seeking Spanish GP track changes

Why F1 drivers are seeking Spanish GP track changes
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz have indicated F1 drivers would prefer the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to revert to the high-speed final sector layout.

The double right-hander that plunges downhill to finish the lap in Spain was changed to a slow-speed chicane ahead of the 2007 season in an attempt to boost overtaking.

In doing so, the track lost part of its scintillating appeal with cars no longer on the edge of their limits and with overtaking down the start-finish straight remaining at a premium.

Alpine driver Alonso has explained he would prefer to race on the old layout. He said: "As a driver, you would prefer to have the two fast corners just to maximise the potential of the F1 car on the aerodynamics.

"If it was changed then there was a reason behind it and I guess that reason is still applicable now.

"I am happy to race with any configuration but I guess there is a logic why we are racing with these last corners and the slow last sector so I am happy to race with that.

"I don't think the racing would change much because you cannot follow closely in the last two corners anyway in either of the configurations so I don't think that would have a huge impact."

Fellow Spaniard Sainz added: "I don't think it would change [racing] massively but if it wouldn't change massively then I would prefer the high-speed double-corner.

"Why? Because it is the old school version of the track, it is what I grew up watching.

"Since the chicane was introduced, I don't think overtaking has improved so I would just go for the more fun version for the driver and probably also for the fans.

"I think racing has changed since back then, now we have DRS and the DRS would be more powerful if you exit the last corner a bit quicker, there would potentially be more tow-effect and it could facilitate overtaking.

"But, it could also go the other way and the last corner would be too difficult to follow. I don't know but I would love to try."

One change that has been made to the circuit since last year's Spanish Grand Prix is a reprofiling to turn 10 that harks back to the more sweeping version used before the corner was tightened for 2004.

Alonso commented: "I don't think it will change much. I don't think there will be a huge impact on lap time, set-up or overtaking opportunity. It should be quite transparent from the spectators' point of view."

Adding to his compatriot's views, Sainz stated: "In the past, turn 10 was difficult to follow because there was only one line.

"Maybe having a wider line you can place your car a bit differently compared to the car in front and get a bit more clean air but at the same time it is a higher-speed corner, so we will see a bit more downforce loss.

"One thing might compensate the other. We will try it first and give comments after."

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