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Spanish GP: Preview - Racing Point

NEWS STORY
13/08/2020

What do you enjoy most about visiting Barcelona?
Lance Stroll: "I know Barcelona really well. It's such a great place to visit. The weather is always amazing, the food is incredible, and you've got the nice beaches too. We obviously won't be able to explore as we usually do - but hopefully we'll have some fun on track to make up for it."

Like all Formula 1 drivers, you must know the circuit like the back of your hand?
LS: "We certainly get plenty of mileage across the weekend and pre-season testing! It's definitely a familiar circuit and that means everyone will be closely matched in terms of lap time, so it's about extracting every last tenth from yourself and the package to get a good result."

What's the main challenge of Barcelona?
Sergio Perez: "Barcelona really tests the characteristics of your car. If you're fast in Barcelona, you can be fast anywhere - that's what makes it such a good place to hold pre-season testing. But we obviously have different challenges and conditions on a race weekend compared to testing. It's also usually where most teams bring upgrades to their cars, so it can also affect relative performance to your rivals.

Do you feel like you have extra support in Spain thanks to your common language?
SP: "I definitely feel the support of the local fans. It's a great motivator and I'm very grateful for that. They always make me feel at home, too. It's a shame the fans can't be there this weekend - but I hope they enjoy following the weekend from home."

How have the past two weeks been for you and how are you feeling heading into the weekend?
SP: "Firstly, I'm very lucky that I've only had mild symptoms, so I've been able to keep training and make sure that I'm ready to jump back behind the wheel of the car. I'm very glad I had my tablet to keep me entertained too, though! I've definitely missed racing and it was hard to watch from the outside. I can't wait to get on track, hopefully this weekend."

Barcelona has traditionally been Formula 1's European opener, also bringing with it the first round of major car updates. However, the rescheduled 2020 season makes it unlikely that teams will bring significant upgrades here, potentially featuring minor tweaks to the cars instead.

Few circuits are as familiar to modern F1 than Barcelona. The venue of pre-season testing, this is a track at which extensive running throughout the year helps close the gaps between the teams slightly, as there are so few unknowns.

One of the challenges in Barcelona is the temperature. Although the teams will have rafts of data from pre-season, it will have been collected on a track that measured around 20C. Racing in the summer will likely see those track temperatures reach around 50C. This makes validating the car harder, and is a key factor to understand in the practice sessions.

Barcelona features some of the high-speed characteristics experienced last time out at Silverstone balanced with low-speed features in the final sector comparable with those of the Hungaroring. This is a track that tests every aspect of an F1 car.

Barcelona is an average speed circuit with a good spread of different corner styles. It emphasises balancing efficiency in terms of the load and drag of the car. Cars tend to run a less efficient aero package here - tolerating the extra drag of the bigger rear wings in order to help get the maximum downforce in the corners.

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