Wednesday, May 10, 2017

2017 SPANISH GRAND PRIX PREVIEW


The “Pink Panthers” of the BWT/Sahara Force India Formula One team are looking ahead to this weekend round five race in Barcelona, Spain. The team starts the weekend with a firm hold on fourth place in the World Constructors championship, trailing Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull Racing.

Sahara Force India's Technical Director, Andrew Green, shared his views about the challenging sixteen-turn Circuit de Catalunya "it is a track we know very well because of pre-season testing, but it’s very interesting to see the development in the car that took place since we were last here. Mid-May is also very different from February: the increased temperatures make it a very different track from the one we tackled back then."
 
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Circuit de Catalunya track map
 
 
Green continued his track commentary, adding that "compared to Russia, it’s a much harder test for the tires and we expect wear and degradation to be much higher. It is one of the reasons we (Pirelli Tires) are using the three hardest compounds in the range – soft (yellow sidewall), medium (white sidewall), and hard (orange sidewall) As a circuit, it is a challenge from turn one to the final corner. Driver, car and tires do not get much rest, although it is fairly easy on the brakes. You have medium- and high-speed corners making up most of the first two sectors, while the final one is mostly low-speed, meaning you have to find the right compromises when setting the car up. Overtaking is very difficult, so qualifying position is crucial”

Mexican driver Sergio Perez who currently stands seventh in 2017 Formula One point standings, offered his thoughts on the upcoming race:  “Barcelona is a track that really tests a Formula One car. There are some quick corners that feel very special, such as turns three and nine, where you can appreciate the aero performance of these 2017 cars. It’s always a difficult track for overtaking and so there is extra emphasis on qualifying well."
 
 
 

French rookie Esteban Ocon, tenth in the drivers standings,  said that he is “feeling positive after our performance in Sochi. It shows the results we can achieve when everything goes to plan because we improved the car during each session. The team did an awesome job because I felt comfortable in the car and could really push. It’s a good sign for the races to come and I feel we have lots more potential to find with the VJM10. Coming back to Barcelona is an opportunity to see how much we have improved the car since winter testing. It’s a track that shows your strengths and weaknesses because there is nowhere to hide. It’s all about aero performance and having confidence.”

Practice begins on Friday May 12, qualifying will be held Saturday, and the Spanish Grand Prix will be aired live on the NBC Sports Network at 7:30 AM ET on Sunday May 14

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