Higher for passing, onerous on the neck, “mighty fast”: Drivers reward observe change

Components 1 drivers praised the adjustments to the Circuit de Catalunya for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The sluggish chicane on the finish of the lap, which was added to the observe format in 2007, has been bypassed this 12 months, restoring the ultimate two excessive pace corners.

Lewis Hamilton was certainly one of a number of drivers who described the change as a transparent enchancment.

“It’s superior,” stated the seven-times world champion, who drove the outdated nook configuration in testing earlier than he made his debut as an F1 driver.

“It’s very quick,” he continued. “I undoubtedly want it to the small chicane that we had previously. It’s far more enjoyable. I’ve not adopted anybody by way of there so I don’t know the way that’s going to be within the race however it’s undoubtedly going to make it robust for deg[radation].”

The ultimate nook is now approached at speeds of as much as 270kph. Kevin Magnussen stated “the brand new format is fairly full-on, it’s a superb change.”

“It’s slightly quick and slightly extra on the restrict than I someway anticipated,” he admitted. “It’s very enjoyable. I’m having fun with it so much.”

The Haas driver isn’t positive whether or not the change will make it simpler for drivers to comply with one another by way of the ultimate nook and overtake on the lengthy straight that proceeds it.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023Gallery: 2023 Spanish Grand Prix follow in photos“Whether or not it’ll imply straightforward overtaking, I believe it is likely to be across the similar,” he stated. “Perhaps slightly higher.”

Nevertheless Max Verstappen is optimistic the change will enhance the standard of racing on the circuit.

“It’s been much more enjoyable to drive,” stated the reigning champion. “F1 automobiles typically they really feel higher at excessive pace. So for me the final two corners are significantly better to drive.

“I attempted to comply with a couple of automobiles as nicely, it appeared truly fairly okay by way of there as nicely. So I used to be positively stunned for overtaking.”

George Russell, who referred to as for the chicane’s removing two years in the past, stated the part of observe has “gone from in all probability one of many worst corners in Components 1 to in all probability among the finest corners on this planet.”

One problem drivers face because of the chicane’s removing is that they now have to deal with a bump on the entry to the ultimate nook at a lot increased speeds than they beforehand did.

“It’s fast, mighty fast,” stated Nico Hulkenberg. “Particularly the final nook – sixth gear, seventh gear, relies on your gearbox. However there’s a bump simply on the entry which does spice issues up slightly bit.”

“Now on the pace we flip in at, over 260, 270, the automotive is just about on the ground,” he defined. “So you’re feeling something.”

“You go right into a super-fast final nook and this observe, there’s actually no bumps, however then there’s one proper there. It’s simply humorous, someway.”

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2023 Spanish Grand Prix

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