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Spanish track changes to aid overtaking 04 May 2007

Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Mercedes MP4/22. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Barcelona, Spain, 2 May 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton

Revisions to Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya should make for more exciting racing at next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix. That is the verdict following this week’s test at the track, when many drivers sampled the new layout for the first time.

A chicane has been placed between the final two corners, previously both high-speed turns. Though the modification is mainly for safety purposes, the chicane is also designed to encourage more overtaking by bunching cars up ahead of the final turn.

This will allow drivers to follow the car in front of them more closely as they head on to the long, main straight. This should make for for better slipstreaming and therefore more passing opportunities into the first corner.

“Although I have always really enjoyed the final two corners and their speed, the new chicane at the end of the track will hopefully lead to more overtaking during the race, which is great for the spectators,” said McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.

The changes are expected to add around five seconds to typical lap times.