Spain, Montmelo. Formula 1 is at home here, given that in the past, this was the place where the F1 Circus carried out most of its testing. After the first four races a long way from home, not forgetting all the additional hassle of getting back to base from China because of the volcanic ash cloud which was hovering over the Old Continent creating air traffic problems, the European season is finally underway. And as is traditional, all the teams have introduced updates developed over the past weeks.
On the F10, our most important update, although not the only one, is what is known as the blown rear wing, a system that produces a top speed advantage when the car is on the straights. The other modification, approved by the FIA, in full compliance with the current regulations, is to the engine, aimed at improving its reliability.
It’s definitely a busy weekend therefore, with a packed programme completed prior to the cars nosing out of the garage for the start of qualifying to decide the grid positions for tomorrow’s Grand Prix. In the end, it turned into a private duel between the two Red Bull drivers, as their car, which has been quickest in the early part of the season, seems to be out of reach of the rest of the field this weekend here in Montmelo. However, right behind them, it’s all very close.
Fernando Alonso drove out of his skin to take fourth spot, despite problems with grip that have troubled him this weekend. Felipe Massa faced the same difficulty with insufficient grip and took ninth place on the grid.
In the last nine Spanish Grands Prix, the win has gone to the pole man, so one could think that tomorrow’s race is a foregone conclusion. Will that be the case? One variable that none of the teams can afford to ignore is tyre wear over a long run, not to mention the remote chance that rain could make an appearance tomorrow.
As usual, we will be trying our hardest to bring home the best result possible.