The Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona has been on the calendar since 1991 and gives the strongest indicator of which team has the best car, given its characteristics which test all aspects of a car’s performance, especially downforce. The combination of slow, medium and fast corners makes it the ultimate test venue for the sport. Gusty sidewinds can also catch drivers out. Its most exciting section, a flat-out 90-degree right hander, has been toned down by a slow chicane since 2007 in order to reduce the speed at which the cars enter the pit straight. The passionate Spanish fans are interested in only one man, Fernando Alonso, who took an emotional victory in the 2013 event. Pastor Maldonado was the surprise winner a year earlier, holding off Alonso to take a long overdue win for Williams.
Circuit length 4.655 km
Race distance 307.104 km
2013 race winner Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
Last year this race featured four pit stops for the winner, Fernando Alonso, but this year the teams are likely to choose three or possibly two. Assessing the tyre life will be essential as Barcelona is tough on tyres, especially the left front, which is stressed by the long Turn 3 right hander. It is quite a tough circuit on which to overtake; in the last two years we have seen around 30-35 passes on track per race, even with the adjustable DRS wings, so strategy is vital and we will see drivers using undercuts (pitting before a rival) and offsetting (running longer early stints in order to have fresh tyres for an attack later in the race) to gain track position. The start is also critical as it is a long run of 650 metres to Turn 1 and much can change into that tight right hand corner.
In collaboration with James Allen
The race history chart and accompanying text recap of the key moments of the race, are together designed to offer a unique review and insight into the strategic who, what, why and how that decided the latest race result.
The graph illustrates the relative performances on each stint of the cars and the gaps between each driver on a lap by lap basis. Use the control to show/hide different drivers and click on the pins for more details of race incidents.
The ‘as it happened’ key talking points, provide a more in-depth accompanying commentary and analysis of the key decisions on the pit wall and in the cockpit decisions that again ultimately helped determine the final race outcome.
Pit stop league table
The league table shows the order of the pit crews based on their best total time in the pit lane in the recent FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA PIRELLI 2014. Please note that this table shows the total pit lane duration, whereas the season best pit stop referenced in the latest race strategy briefing considers the stationery time of the car only during the pit stop.
01 Red Bull (21.599s)
02 Ferrari (21.664s)
03 McLaren (21.768s)
04 Lotus (22.024s)
05 Mercedes (22.254s)
06 Force India (22.282s)
07 Williams (22.304s)
08 Marussia (22.568s)
09 Toro Rosso (22.703s)
10 Caterham (22.789s)
11 Sauber (23.063s)
Starts are a critical part of the race and strategy can be badly compromised by a poor start, while good starts can make strategists change their plans in the hope of a good result.
The below table illustrates whether drivers have gained (+) or lost (-) places off the start line this season on an aggregate basis. Please note that where a driver has been eliminated on a first lap this has been noted and removed from the sample as it skews the table and therefore serves as a guide of trends, rather than a definitive list.
+8 Ericsson, Bottas, Hulkenberg
+7 Kobayashi, Gutierrez
Ricciardo ,Chilton, Rosberg, Räikkönen
-5 Button, Magnussen
-2 Vettel, Kvyat, Hamilton
Melbourne Notes: Kobayashi, Massa eliminated in a first corner accident; Perez, Gutierrez pitted at the end of Lap 1; Bianchi, Grosjean started from pit lane.
Malaysia Notes: Perez started from pit lane, Bianchi pitted at the end of lap 1
Bahrain notes: Vergne pitted at the end of lap 1 after contact
China Notes: Sutil lost power at start and dropped 8 places, retiring soon after.