Formula 2 will conduct a test session at the Circuit De Barcelona-Catalunya this week.
The Barcelona circuit has become the favoured test venue for Formula 1 in recent times being the dominant host of F1’s pre-season testing.
The track is 2.9 miles long and is home to 16 corners, it also has a great flow to it with plenty of medium and high speed corners. The circuit is also home to a slow left right chicane which leads the drivers onto the main straight.
Barcelona is a great all round circuit giving the teams plenty of data on a variety of corners. This makes it ideal for testing. The first sector is made of turns 1, 2 and 3. It is incredibly quick and provides the teams with valuable information on how their car handles medium and high speed corners.
Turn 1 is a medium speed right handed corner, it also provides the best overtaking opportunity of the lap on race weekend’s, which is very important to get right due to Turns 2 and 3 following immediately.
Turn 3 is a fascinating right hander which requires a small lift on the entry before the driver gets back on the power, all the while the car is loaded up with lateral g-force and the floor relentlessly hitting the tarmac.
Further round the lap, sector 2 is certainly a lot slower than sector 1. The second sector of the lap in Barcelona features plenty of medium speed corners including the long right hander of Turn 4 at Repsol and the downhill left hander, Turn 5.
Turn 6 is just a curve in the road but the chicane at Turn 7 and 8 presents an all new challenge for the drivers. The track is camber during the left hander at Turn 7 before the track rises uphill through Turn 8.
Sector 2 is rounded off by the high speed Turn 9 at Campsa taken in fourth gear, a corner with little margin for error as gravel lingers on the outside. The corner is also slightly blind on the entry as the track rises over a crest.
The final sector of the lap in Barcelona is incredibly twisty and has shades of Monaco’s narrow streets. This final part of the track can provides teams with an idea of how their car performs in slow speed corners. Turn 10 is the slowest corner on circuit, a tight hairpin taken at just 40mph.
Turn 12 is also an intriguing corner, Banc Sabadell is a long right hander which hurts the front left tyre especially during longer runs.
This corner could provide valuable information throughout the test as teams discover how to maximise their Dallara designed cars and Mecachrome built 3.4 litre V6 turbocharged engines.
The RACC chicane of Turns 14 and 15 was brought in back in 2007 to help slow the cars down. They make up the final proper corner on the racetrack and it is a very important section to get right. The kerbs are quite unforgiving and can easily force a driver into a mistake, forcing them to lose time hand over fist.
Barcelona also makes a good test track due to its location. All 11 F2 teams entered into the 2021 championship are based in Europe making the Barcelona track very accessible to all the teams and drivers.
Overall the Circuit De Barcelona-Catalunya is a very good testing venue due to the variety of corners on the 2.9 mile circuit giving teams an all round picture of their car.