By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
Welcome to our newest segment at Tribute Racing; Grand Prix Profile. The Grand Prix Profile, or GPP for short will be a look at each F1 venue, with a breakdown on its history and place in the sport. With the aim to give you a real glimpse at the heart and character of the many amazing places, the world’s most amazing sport visits.
We begin in Spain, F1’s triumphant return to its European heartland comes early each May with the sports traditional visit to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The track is the latest in a line of legendary names to host the event, it’s predecessors including Montjuic, Jarama and Jerez.
2016 marks the circuit’s 25th consecutive Grand Prix. Originally constructed as part of the build up to Barcelona hosting the 1992 Olympics, Circuit de Catalunya has ensured that city and the region have stayed in the international sporting spotlight.
The 16 turn, 2.9 mile long track is one of the most familiar to Formula One as it has served as the series’ main testing hub for many years, yet it’s tricky corners and elevation changes of over 100 feet prove a challenge the drivers and engineers still revel in. The drivers will tackle it for 66 laps, each one spent at 67% full throttle in a bid for victory and to topple Kimi Raikkonen’s 2008 lap record of 1:21.670.
The only current driver with multiple wins is fittingly Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who delighted his home fans with victory in 2006 for Renault and 2013 for Ferrari.
Other active drivers with wins include Felipe Massa (2007), Kimi Raikkonen (2008), Jenson Button (2009), Sebastian Vettel (2011), Lewis Hamilton (2014) and Nico Rosberg who won last year.
This year will likely see the second multiple winner of the Spanish Grand Prix since Alonso. Ferrari is taking the fight to Mercedes in practice and the likelihood of a non Mercedes or Ferrari winner is a long shot. Even a shock win by Massa in the Williams would give us a second time winner. Only the Red Bull runners; Daniel Ricciardo, the freshly promoted Max Verstappen or William’s Valtteri Bottas can crash that party.