The Spanish Grand Prix is the first race of the season on European soil after four exciting races at various circuits overseas. This is where the next phase of the season begins and there is probably no other track in the world that I know as well as the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. I also have some good memories of race weekends in Barcelona. Last year, for example, I started from pole position so I'm looking forward to going back there again and maybe repeating that particular feat. It's also only now that we can slowly begin to get an idea of how the different cars stack up in terms of performance. Each team will have been pushing hard during the break since the last race to find some extra performance from new parts. So it will certainly be an interesting weekend and hopefully an exciting one for the fans too.
Spain: In the Cockpit with Nico
The first few races of the season are all very different but Barcelona is the first 'normal' track of the year. Although we know it very well, the demanding layout of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya still makes it quite challenging. The first corner is a key section of track, since it affords a good opportunity to overtake the car in front. Following the longest straight on the circuit, which also features a DRS zone, Turn One is definitely a corner where overtaking is on the cards!
Turn Three, however, is even more exciting from a driver's perspective. It's a long, drawn-out corner that in the past has been taken almost at full throttle. We'll have to see how fast we can run through it this year because, thanks to the rule changes, we now have a lot more power but also much less downforce. Either way, this is one of the best turns of the season as far as I'm concerned and it's going to be a really thrilling experience to tackle it in these new cars.
One of the special features of this race weekend is that it is the first race of the season in Europe. This marks the return of the team trucks and motorhomes to the paddock. But there is something far more decisive about this race than that. A crucial point in the season is reached at the Spanish Grand Prix where you can begin to determine the performance of your car compared to those of the other teams at the beginning of the summer season, which is an important moment for everyone.