Just one week on from the Portuguese Grand Prix, on a track that has only hosted two Formula 1 races, the World Championship now moves to the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit in Montmeló, 25 kilometres from the Catalan capital, which has featured on the calendar every year since 1991. It also used to be the usual venue for pre-season testing, but this year, because of the pandemic, that was moved to Bahrain.
The track layout, featuring high, medium and low speed corners, direction changes, undulations and a long start-finish straight, is a demanding test-bench of a car’s abilities. It is also one of the most difficult tracks for overtaking. Being close to the coast means that changes in wind direction are one of the factors to deal with, because it has a significant impact on the balance of the cars that run in a medium-high downforce configuration. There are two DRS zones, one on the main straight leading to the first chicane and another after turn 9 on the back straight that leads to turn 10, where it will make less of a difference under braking, but it will not be impossible to try a textbook overtaking move around the outside, relying on entry speed going into the turn. During the winter, major changes were actually made to turn 10, a very heavy braking point where it was easy to lock up