Hadjar & Hauger Expect Increased Tyre Wear on New Barcelona Layout

Hadjar & Hauger Expect Increased Tyre Wear on New Barcelona Layout

tyreHadjar, Hauger Expect Increased Tyre Wear on New Barcelona Layout

The FIA Formula 2 Championship heads to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend for Round 7 of the 2023 season, and competitors expect that layout changes will heighten both tyre wear and the physical demands faced by drivers.

The Spanish circuit’s abrasive surface and long-radius, high-speed corners have historically generated high levels of tyre wear across all racing categories.

Modifications to the circuit’s layout this year mean that drivers are using the original final two corners last used by open-wheel cars in 2006. This layout bypasses the chicane made up of the former Turns 14 and 15, while Turn 13 is now a fast right-hander that consequently increases the entry speed into the final corner on the circuit.

F2 drivers got a taste of this new layout across three days of in-season testing from 10–12 May. At a virtual media roundtable ahead of Round 7, Isack Hadjar and Dennis Hauger told InsideF2 about how the layout change might affect this weekend’s running based on what they discovered during testing.

“Physically it’s getting a bit harder, but in testing, it was fine,” F2 rookie Hadjar said.

“We obviously had three days of testing, so we went through a lot of race simulations and we saw some really interesting things.

“I think with the changes of the track, it’s made it even harder for the left-hand side of the car. It’s just quite tricky to manage, but it’s the same for everyone. I think it will make the racing quite interesting.”

Hitech GP’s Hadjar, who raced on the old layout in FRECA in 2021 and F3 last year, clocked 204 laps in the test, with his best lap of a 1:25.244 putting him 16th overall. Meanwhile, MP Motorsport’s Hauger set 212 laps and a best lap of a 1:24.880 to end up 10th overall.

“As everyone’s done testing and prepared as well as they can for everything, I think it’s going to be tight, but it’s always a challenge around here with the tyres, with the physical wear as well,” the 2021 F3 champion said.

“It’s a difficult track to manage for the races with all the fighting and stuff like that. I remember as well [that] compared to F3 [in 2021], it was quite a bit step and quite more than you would expect, so I think it’s one of the bigger ones on the calendar actually.

“In the end, we got the testing done and tried to work the aspects that we needed to. I think we’re as prepared as we can [be].”

A number of drivers in last season’s Barcelona Feature Race used the alternate tyre strategy to surge through the field late in the race as drivers going to the end on the hard compound hit severe degradation. On those longer stints, Hauger said he thought the new layout would pose more of a challenge.

“With such a higher-energy corner in the last sector, it definitely does something to the left side of the tyres. It’s something that obviously we have been looking at, how to save as much as possible, because most of the corners there are right-handers, at least on the high-energy side.

“It’s probably going to play a part a bit, but for the races, you have to push through there a bit in the end anyway,” he explained.

“I don’t think it’s going to change too much, but it’s definitely something that might affect it a bit more on the long runs.”

Image: Formula Motorsport Limited

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