Practice and qualifying sessions take place on Friday and Saturday (10 and 11 May) with the F1 Grand Prix at 2pm on Sunday 12 May. The current F1 lap record of 1:21.670 at Circuit de Catalunya was set by Kimi Raikkonen in 2008.
Date: 12 May 2013
Venue: Circuit de Catalunya
Canadian Robert Wickens may not have finished the race in Barcelona on Sunday, but he nevertheless won the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship on points. Starting the last race of the season with a nine-point lead over Jean Eric Vergne of France, it initially appeared that Wickens may have lost the title due to an accident on the first lap with his Carlin Motorsports teammate. Vergne had tried to pass Wickens on the inside of the track, but his car’s front left wheel made contact with Wickens’ side pod. This incident was followed up at the next corner with the right front of Wickens’ car hitting the left rear of Vergne, breaking Wickens’ steering and putting him out of the race as he collided with Nathanel Berthon.
Vergne tried to continue, but damage to his car’s steering and rear suspension, along with contact by Mofaz racer Fairuz Fauzy, eventually put him out of the race. Vergne would have had to finish fifth or higher in order to take the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship from Wickens, but with both drivers out of the race, the victory went to Wickens.
In an interview following the race, Wickens noted that while it was not how he had wanted to end the day, nor how he expected to be crowned champion, but was nevertheless pleased with the result. He pointed out that he and Vergne had enjoyed being teammates, they had raced hard and fair all year and it was a pity the last race of the season ended with contact at the first corner. He also thanked the Carlin team, describing them as being flawless all year, and thanked Marussia for making his championship win possible.
One of the rewards for winning the Formula Renault 3.5 championship is a half-day of test-driving a Lotus Renault on a full F1 track in Abu Dhabi next month, which Wickens describes as a “fantastic” prize. Having finished second in the 2009 F2 series and second in the GP3 series in 2010, and now claiming the Renault 3.5 championship, as well as being named Marussia Virgin F1 team reserve driver this year, Wickens appears to be well on his way to fulfilling his hopes of becoming the first Canadian driver to achieve in auto racing’s top series since Jacques Villeneuve – the 1997 F1 World Champion.
While the championship results may have outshone the actual victory of the day, it should not be overlooked that Albert Costa of Epic Racing took the checkered flag in Barcelona, having started in pole position, with Wickens second on the grid and Vergne starting from fifth.
Born on 24 February 1971 in Barcelona, in the beautiful Catalonia region of Spain, Pedro Martínez de la Rosa made his entry into F1 racing for the Arrow Team on 7 March 1999 at the Australian Grand Prix, scoring one point on that occasion, which is quite a rare achievement. Prior to his memorable F1 debut, Pedro de la Rosa claimed the title of Champion in the Spanish Formula Ford 1600 Championship in 1990, as well as earning two podiums out of six races in the British Formula Ford 1600 championship that year. He came fourth in the 1991 Spanish Formula Renault Championship, notching up three podium finishes, and following this by winning both the British and European Formula Renault in 1992. The following two years were somewhat mediocre for de la Rosa, but in 1995, he earned the title of champion in the Japanese Formula Three series, as well as claiming a third in the Macau Grand Prix. After moderate success in 1996, de la Rosa was back on form in 1997, winning the Formula Nippon F3000 and the Japan All GT Champion.
De la Rosa moved into F1 racing as a test driver for Jordan in 1998, joining Arrows in 1999 and making his debut, as mentioned at the outset. In 2000 he scored a point at both Nürburgring and Hockenheim for Arrows. The next two years were spent with Jaguar, where de la Rosa scored three points in 2001, but failed to score in 2002, resulting in a parting of the ways from this particular team. In 2003 de la Rosa signed on as a test driver for McLaren, making a points-scoring debut for the team when he replaced injured Pablo Montoya at the 2005 Bahrain Grand Prix. Continuing as test driver for McLaren in 2006, de la Rosa once again stepped in to replace Montoya (who left rather abruptly to join NASCAR) and claimed second place in the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix. From 2007 to 2009 de la Rosa continued in his role as test driver for McLaren, and was elected as the chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) in 2008, replacing Ralf Schumacher who retired from the position.
Pedro de la Rosa has signed to drive with the Sauber team, which is making a come-back to F1 racing, for the 2010 season, alongside Kamui Kobayashi as team-mate. With quite a number of changes having taken place with drivers and the teams they are associated with, auto racing fans have plenty to look forward to for the 2010 F1 Championship series.
The Spanish Grand Prix is held annually at the outstanding Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. Forming a part of the Formula One championship, the Spanish Grand Prix is attended by large crowds of eager F1 fans. The Circuit de Catalunya certainly provides the ideal setting for a day at the races, with convenient facilities and excellent views of the thrilling Formula One Action.
In October of 1986 the Catalan parliament decided to begin construction on Barcelona’s very own international racing circuit. Following the purchase of a suitable piece of land, work started on the impressive circuit in 1989. The first ever Spanish Grand Prix to be held at Circuit de Catalunya took place in 1991 in the month of September. It was a very exciting race indeed, with Nigel Mansell taking first place.
This is just the recent history of the Spanish Grand Prix though. In fact, racing began in Spain right back in 1908 with the Catalan Cup. A permanent oval was opened at Sitges in 1923. On 28 October 1923 the second Spanish Grand Prix was held (the first had been a decade earlier). The original Spanish Grand Prix did not take place according to the standard Grand Prix formula at that time, its rules were more like those used for touring cars. The next Spanish Grand Prix was only held in 1926. After years of war the F1 World Championship came to Spain in 1951. For some time the Spanish Grand Prix alternated between the F1 circuits of Montjuic and Jarama. Spanish Grand Prix had a revival in 1991 when Circuit de Catalunya was opened. In no time at all the new circuit in Barcelona became a popular testing ground. Today it remains the host of the Spanish Grand Prix.
Circuit de Catalunya’s 15 grandstands ensure that there is plenty of place for spectators during the Spanish Grand Prix. Large screen televisions around the circuit provide outstanding views of all the fast action. Plenty of public transportation is available to arrive at the Grand Prix on time. Certainly, if you have the opportunity, you don’t want to miss the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Spanish Grand Prix at Catalunya consists of 65 laps around the 4.727 km circuit, totalling 307.324 km. The circuit’s lap record is held by Michael Schumacher who set it in 2004 at 1:17:450. Spanish racing hero Fernando Alonso was the 2006 winner of the Spanish Grand Prix. Following is a list of other winners: Kimi Raikkonen (2005, 2008); Michael Schumacher (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004); Mika Hakkinen (1998, 2000); Filipe Massa (2007); and the most recent win going to Jenson Button (2009). The 2010 Spanish Grand Prix is set to take place on 7-9 May, so don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy one of the world’s most exciting sports, in one of the world’s most hospitable countries.
The Circuit de Catalunya is located in Barcelona, Spain. This impressive F1 track is amongst the most modern and is host to a number of renowned motor racing events. If you have the good fortune to attend a race at the Circuit de Catalunya F1 race track you will find that the 15 grandstands provide spectators with an awesome view of the action. This, together with other superb visitor facilities, ensure an enjoyable day of excitement.
Construction began on the Circuit de Catalunya in February 1989 through funding from the Montmelo Town Council, Catalan Government and Reial Automobil Club de Catalunya. The completed circuit was officially opened on 10 September 1991 with the first race being won by Luis Perez Sala. The circuit itself offers 3 different routes, namely the School track of 1.703 m, the National track of 3.067 m and Grand Prix track of 4.727 m. The Spanish Grand Prix held at Circuit de Catalunya covers a complete distance of 307.323 km with 65 laps. Currently the lap record for the F1 track is held by Michael Schumacher who made it in 1 min 17.481 seconds behind the wheel of a Ferrari. Circuit de Catalunya is also host to other competitive racing events, including those for motorcycles and 24 Hours Endurance. Located at the circuit is the Formula Renault RACC School.
Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona offers a marvelous Formula One race day adventure. Some 23 giant TV screens provide excellent views of the racing from all angles and are easily seen from around the track. During racing season ticket holders may be permitted to tours of the pit garages. Extensive public transport is provided for easy access to the F1 circuit. Disabled individuals are well catered for with special areas reserved for them. A special campsite is set up during the Grand Prix and is serviced with toilets and showers. A fine restaurant at the track has space for 200 people and there are also 8 bars. Formula One viewing is certainly a treat at Circuit de Catalunya. Not only are the facilities comfortable and convenient but the Spanish Grand Prix is always filled with excitement and thrills.