The Spanish Grand Prix, Round Five of the 2013 Formula One World Championship, sees the first of the season's seven European races take place at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
At 730 metres, the run from the start to the first corner at Barcelona is the longest of the entire season. The past two Spanish Grands Prix run with DRS saw 57 (2012) and 83 (2011) in-race passes respectively.
The 2011 (75) and 2012 (65) races featured a total of 140 pit-stops, more than in the previous four years combined (130).
“In the two weeks since we returned from Bahrain, there has been a lot of hard work taking place in Brackley and Brixworth to prepare for the start of the European season in Barcelona next weekend” says Ross. “We have focused our efforts in two key areas; finalising our upgrade package for Spain and understanding our comparative lack of race pace in Bahrain.
We have made progress in the latter area and will evaluate some developments over the upcoming race weekends to help improve the situation. We're not there yet but we are making progress and of course, performing in the race is what really counts. The Circuit de Catalunya is a circuit that we know well and we have a lot of data from the two pre-season tests to help prepare for the weekend. However in the late spring conditions, we can expect the track to be of a very different nature to what we experienced earlier this year.
Overtaking is more difficult there than at some of the early season tracks and, of course, every team will be bringing new developments so the weekend should provide an interesting challenge.
For Toto, “the three-week break between the Bahrain and Spanish Grands Prix was welcome, as it gave us extra time to analyse in detail what happened at the last race. We have built a good picture of our varying levels of race performance and why we under-performed overall in Bahrain. In Barcelona, we will test some solutions aimed at improving our tyre management in addition to our planned upgrade package.
The circuit itself is well known as a benchmark for aerodynamic performance and we performed strongly there at the end of winter testing. The track conditions and temperatures will be very different on the race weekend, though, so we must dial the car in to those circumstances.
Our target is to improve our Sunday afternoon performance to match what we have delivered on Saturday in the past two races. It will certainly be interesting to see what gains everybody has made since the last time we were at the circuit and how the planned upgrade packages work from car to car.”