Tag Archives: Spa

Barcelona and Valencia to alternate from 2013

The Circuit de Catalunya will soon alternate with Valencia

The Circuit de Catalunya will soon alternate with Valencia

The Circuit de Catalunya and the Valencia Street Circuit are to alternate hosting the Spanish Grand Prix from 2013 onwards.

Both venues have run into financial trouble in recent months. The Spanish government’s financial woes completely rules out any government interference, so an alternating track system was decided to be the best approach.

Bernie Ecclestone broke the news to Spanish radio station Cadana Ser today. He also clarified that both races would continue in 2012 as planned.

Barcelona hosted the Spanish Grand Prix from 1991 onwards, while Valencia is a relatively new addition to the Formula 1 calendar, joining in 2008. Neither circuit has proven popular with fans in recent years, due to frequently dull races and no scope for overtaking. It is not clear which track will be ditched for 2013.

The Spa circuit is also looking at a similar deal, with the Circuit Paul Ricard in France. The birthplace of motorsport, France has not hosted a Grand Prix since Magny Cours was dropped after 2008.

Bahrain circuit to be longer and slower

The new section of Bahrain

The new section of Bahrain

The Bahrain F1 circuit has been changed, with a new section added after Turn 4.

There will be 0.8 km added to the track. This will make Bahrain the second longest track on the F1 calendar (6.299km), behind Spa (7.004km) and ahead of Suzuka (5.807km).

After Turn 4, the circuit usually goes into an S-shaped curve. Instead of this, there will be a left turn, followed by a series of 90 degree corners, followed by a long hairpin.

The chairman of the circuit, Zayed Alzayani, said:

“The loop was completed in 2006 as part of the built-in evolution of the venue for competitors and fans. We gave it its debut with the inaugural 24 Hour Race of Bahrain that same year where it proved extremely successful, and with the changes to the regulations, the teams and the driver line-ups in Formula One this year it is the perfect time to evolve the circuit with this new challenge and new overtaking opportunities.”

This makes very little sense. There is no overtaking opportunity in this new section, and seems to be to be less punishing on the cars’ brakes.

This track has been used before, at the 24 Hour Race of Bahrain. This has 120 cars in it, so we can be assured that 26 F1 cars will fit.

I’m not convinced by this move, but it doesn’t seem to be too bad. Let’s see how it fares as the season opener on the 14th March.

Williams team change tyres in less than 3 seconds

A Williams pit stop in 2009

A Williams pit stop in 2009

Because of the refuelling ban in place for 2010, incredibly fast pit stops are going to be in place. The Williams team appear to have set the standard, by changing all sets of tyres in less than 3 seconds.

On their official Twitter feed, Claire Williams, the team’s media manager, posted:

“More pit stop practice on the agenda today, the guys have made it into the sub-three second range to change a set of tyres!”

However, it wasn’t all practise. Nico Hulkenberg had a go at using the front jack, as part of the team’s pit stops.

The fastest F1 pit stop ever was set by Benneton on Ricardo Patrese’s car, at the 1993 Belgian Grand Prix- which was 3.2 seconds. Clearly, that record will be completely smashed this year.

Obviously, the other teams will be practising as well. It will be hugely interesting to see how quick the times can go this year.

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