For some time now, it is also the venue that kicks off the European season, characterized by the arrival of the mobile hospitality units, still erroneously referred to as “motorhomes” and the fact that cars and equipment all travel by land.
All F1 teams’ trucks leave their home bases early in the week to arrive at the destination in Barcelona. In contrast to the races outside Europe, the most Formula 1 cars travel virtually fully assembled, having been rebuilt at their respective factories rather than the track.
All the drivers claim to know the Montmelo track like the back of their hand, however, not everything can be taken for granted this time, given that winter testing was held in extremely cold conditions and now, in May, the weather will be very different.
A familiar track: resurfaced for the year
Furthermore, the track was completely resurfaced at the start of the year, losing some of the roughness for which it was famous and therefore there will be much to learn about the 2018 Medium, Soft and Super Soft compounds in the hotter weather. At the moment, a 2017-style heatwave is not expected, but air temperature, especially on Friday, should comfortably exceed the 20 degree mark.
The Catalan track provides a veritable “workout” for chassis, aerodynamics and indeed the drivers, given that turns like 3 and 9 are now taken flat-out or almost. It’s a track that has everything, but offers few passing opportunities. For those who have the time, Barcelona is around 20 kilometers away with all the attractions of a Mediterranean city.