Round five of the 2014 Formula One World Championship brings teams to Spain for the country’s annual grand prix, which once again is being held at the Circuit de Catalunya, located just outside of Barcelona. This is the first European race on the calendar and it promises to deliver plenty of excitement and fun.
After a three-week break, most teams will have implemented new upgrades or, as is the case with Red Bull Racing, built a whole new chassis. The Spanish Grand Prix and the following two or three races gives everyone a good indication of how the rest of the season will play out and who has made the most progress since the start of the season.
The 4.6-mile Circuit de Catalunya is a track teams and drivers know well, as it has been on the calendar since 1991 and many teams conduct winter testing here. There are several good overtaking opportunities for drivers, and once again tire strategy will be crucial given the combination of the abrasive asphalt and high ambient temperatures.
In addition, the track layout, with its high average speed and 2,400-foot straight, makes it quite hard on tires. As a result, sole-tire supplier Pirelli will bring the two hardest compounds offered this season: Orange Hard and White Medium. Drivers will complete 66 laps for a total 190 miles.
The current weather forecast for Sunday’s race is warm and sunny conditions. Last year, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was the winner.
Going into the weekend, Mercedes AMG’s Nico Rosberg leads the Drivers’ Championship with 79 points, with his teammate Lewis Hamilton just 4 points behind in second. Fernando Alonso sits in third with 41 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes AMG leads with 154 points followed by Red Bull Racing on 57 and Force India on 54._______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.