A lap of the Circuit de Catalunya with Barrichello 10 May 2007
As Hondas Rubens Barrichello prepares to return to the driving seat for this weekends Spanish Grand Prix, the Brazilian talks us round a flying lap of Barcelonas Circuit de Catalunya
Note - to view a map of the circuit, click here.
"The Circuit de Catalunya is almost like a home circuit now because the F1 teams conduct most of their European testing there and like all of the drivers, I know the track like the back of my hand. A lap around here feels something like this
When you exit the fast right-hand turn thirteen onto the long main straight for the start of the lap, the engine noise echoes through the vast and towering grandstands which gives a feeling of real exhilaration, I love that noise!
Then it's downhill towards turn one where you brake hard down to second gear from 310km/h, throwing the car hard right, then left and straight into turn two. Then you accelerate hard into the long right-hand turn three which can be taken at full throttle with the grip of new tyres.
For the short drag down to turn four, you are back up to 300km/h, then into the slow right-hander taken in second gear from where the track falls downhill into the hairpin left of turn five. Here you have to be careful not to lock your wheels on the undulating track.
Accelerating hard once again towards the medium-speed left-hand turn six, running hard over the kerb as you push uphill to the fast right-hander turn seven which leads on to the back straight. Again you are again at over 300km/h approaching turn eight, braking hard down to second gear and negotiating the slippery new track surface through the right-hander. Then it's into the long right-hand turn nine which is taken in second gear.
After a short straight, there is now a new complex of right-left-right turns, which in contrast to the old fast right-hander that it replaces, seems so slow. Exiting the last of this series, being careful not to hit the high kerbs, you accelerate hard to the fast right-hand turn thirteen and back on the pit straight to enjoy those amazing grandstand acoustics once again."