For years, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been a track where overtaking has proven exceptionally difficult. The teams and drivers know the track from the ground up due to the many test days completed and the layout also offers only a few overtaking opportunities. On paper, overtaking should be easier this year compared to previous seasons after Formula 1 switched to all-new technical regulations in 2022. The matching new cars should be able to follow and overtake each other more easily. That seemed to be the case in the opening races of 2022, but Pierre Gasly has little confidence in an improved situation on the eve of the Spanish Grand Prix.
“We know that it’s difficult to overtake at this track and that will continue to be the case with these new cars. This is due to the type of circuitry,” he explains AlphaTauriDriver Gasly points out the sore spot in his eyes. “But it’s hard to predict, so let’s see what happens. It will be important for us to qualify well and halfway up front, because I would be surprised if there were suddenly ten times as many overtaking maneuvers as before! As a team we just have to keep working the way we’ve been doing and I’m sure it will pay off in terms of results.”
The first days of testing in the run-up to the current Formula 1 season were completed in Barcelona. The teams are thus returning to familiar territory and have the opportunity to not only see how they have progressed themselves, but also how they compare to the competition. “It’s always an important weekend because you get a clear picture of how the different cars are performing and where each team compares to the others,” said Gasly. “We should get an idea of where everyone is, right in the middle, where it’s very exciting at the moment. Sometimes we are a bit further ahead, but with a difference of two tenths you can fall far behind.”