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47th Spanish Grand Prix. Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona 01 May 2003

Felipe Massa (BRA) Sauber Petronas C21 leads Heinz Harald Frentzen (GER) Arrows Cosworth A23 past the impressive new grandstand.
Spanish Grand Prix, Rd5, Barcelona, Spain., 28 April 2002

The Formula One teams are no strangers to Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya - not only have they raced there every year since 1991, they also conduct extensive testing at the venue.

Familiarity does not, however, lessen the challenge for car or driver. Barcelona's mix of high and low-speed corners, plus its abrasive and rather bumpy track surface, makes for a physically and mechanically taxing race. Tyre wear is particularly high and the varying winds that cut across the circuit mean an optimum set-up can be hard to find.

For spectators Elf corner is among the best places to watch, as it is one of the track's few overtaking opportunities. For the drivers it is the final two turns, known collectively as New Holland, which provide one of the biggest challenges of the season. A fast exit is essential in order to maximise speed down the start-finish straight into Elf.

This year is the 13th time Barcelona has hosted the Spanish Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher has been the most successful driver at the circuit, with a total of four victories, while Jacques Villeneuve is the only other current driver to have won there, back in 1997. Sunday's victor will have to complete 65 laps of the punishing Spanish track, covering a total distance of 307.327 km.