Barcelona alters circuit layout for Spanish GP
By Ian Parkes
Monday 27th February, 2023 - 10:13pm
This year’s Spanish Grand Prix will be run on a layout at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya last used 16 years ago.
The promoters of the event have decided not to use the frustrating slow chicane in the final sector that was originally added to the circuit in 2007 for safety reasons.
The June 2-4 race will now run without the chicane, returning the track to its original last two-corner layout.
It means a lap will again conclude with two quick right-handers. The chicane saw the introduction of a tight right-left at turns 14 and 15, the impact of which also made the turn 13 right-hander slower.
Drivers had previously aired complaints about the chicane, claiming its removal would aid overtaking opportunities.
Both versions of the circuit – with and without the chicane – have now been homologated, with F1 utilising the old-style layout that runs to 4.657km.
In order to carry out the change, the circuit has installed new TECPRO barriers in the last two turns, overseen by the FIA’s Head of Circuit and Rally Safety Stuart Robertson and Formula 1 Race Director and Safety Delegate Niels Wittich.
It will now be up to each promoter or championship to decide which one will be used in each case.
Another modification that will affect all track configurations is the widening of the run-off area in Turn 1.
The first phase of work has already been completed which has seen 70 metres of gravel and a slope of approximately five percent laid out, as well as the installation of new safety fencing protecting Turns 1 and 2.
Additionally, there is a new signalling tower, which has resulted in a remodeling of the scoreboard located at the pit-lane exit.
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