2019 Spanish Grand Prix Preview
This week, Formula 1 returns to Europe as the teams and drivers make their way to Barcelona for the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix. It’s a track that many drivers know and love due to spending so much time at the circuit – especially for testing.
We’ll all be waiting to see how this weekend pans out – following a very strong performance here for Ferrari in pre-season testing which hasn’t yet been shown in terms of the teams’ race pace.
Mercedes on the hand, despite their great start to the season , are still very reserved on their overall performance as you’ll be able to see below from Toto Wolff who speaks ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.
Take a look to see what teams and drivers had to say ahead of the race weekend – starting things off with Red Bull Racing.
Red Bull Racing – 2019 Spanish Grand Prix Preview
Max Verstappen: “Our next race is back in Europe at the Barcelona Circuit which is the track where I won my first F1 race so it’s always a special one for me. It’s a good track and well test there during pre-season so hopefully that will help us set-up the car straight away.”
“Of course, the temperatures will be a bit different and everyone is bringing new parts to their cars so it will be interesting to see how competitive we can be. There are some fast corners so it’s always a challenging circuit and being closer to home, it will be good to see so many fans in the grandstands.”
“For us, the main thing is to keep maximising our results while we hopefully continue to close the gap to the championship leaders.”
Pierre Gasly: “Barcelona is kind of a cool race because you’re back in Europe and it marks the start of the of the middle part of the season. It’s also a track where I’ve driven most of my laps because we always tested here – going back to my junior career.”
“It’s a really exciting time in Spain as this is where you have upgrades coming up and you can really see the step that everybody is making. I think the team has always been competitive there so I’m excited to see the performance we can achieve.”
“You usually find the fans are pretty connected and pretty passionate in Spain so I expect a lot of people and it’s a race with a massive crowd. For sure, you have more French people there as it’s close to France so there will be more support and it’s nice seeing the flags in the grandstands as it gives you an even bigger boost!”
Ferrari – 2019 Spanish Grand Prix Preview
Sebastian Vettel: “I know the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit perfectly and the uphill turn 3 and turn 9 are definitely the most fun. I think the way the final sector is now means it’s not as interesting as it used to be, but it is probably even more crucial when it comes to setting a time.”
“In fact, you have to be careful not to make any mistakes, because it’s all too easy to ruin the tyres in this sector and lose precious tenths. I’ve always had very positive weekends in Barcelona with Ferrari, even if we’ve never won. I hope this might be the moment to put that right.”
Charles Leclerc: “This is probably the track where it’s hardest for the driver to make a difference. The reason is simple: each one of us knows it by heart, right down to the smallest detail, as it’s home to the majority of tests.”
“I have good memories from February’s testing, even if the conditions were very different back then, with very low air and track temperatures. All the same, the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit is a benchmark, because if you go well here, you know you have a car that will be very competitive for the rest of the season. I can’t wait to get into the cockpit of my SF90, but then, that’s not exactly news!”
Mattia Binotto – Team Principal
Mattia Binotto: “It’s time for the Spanish GP, traditionally a race where most of the teams bring some updates, therefore we can expect to see a step up in performance from our competitors. We are currently behind in the championship and we have to catch up, which we know means that our development work will be the key to this season. Having brought a new aerodynamic package to Baku, we will also bring some developments in this area to Barcelona.”
“On top of that, we will have a new power unit that we are introducing ahead of schedule, as the second specification was due to be brought to Canada. Shell, in close collaboration with our team, has developed a different formulation of race lubricant that will also be introduced with the new power unit, delivering increased performance.”
“It’s only down to a big team effort with everyone pushing hard to make up ground that we have been able to bring these developments forward.”
Mercedes-AMG Petronas – 2019 Spanish Grand Prix Preview
Toto Wolff: “Nobody would have predicted four consecutive Mercedes 1-2s after winter testing but here we are having scored 173 points in the first four races – a remarkable result which is first and foremost the testament of the amazing work of every single member of the team. Our devotion to the task and our hunger for victory and our love of racing are stronger than ever!”
“The results seem to paint a relatively clear picture but the truth is that they’re too flattering – the performance has fluctuated in the first four races. We had the fastest car in Australia and China but we won in Bahrain thanks to our reliability when we were on the back foot in terms of speed.”
“Our race pace looked food in Azerbaijan but we were never able to build a truly comfortable gap to our rivals so there is no complacency about our situation because we know that it’s not truly representative of the balance of power this season – so far.”
“Our next stop is Barcelona where our opponents were blisteringly quick in winter testing so the Spanish Grand Prix will be anything but easy. Despite the good start to the season – we remain quite sceptical of our own performance and know that there are a number of areas where we can and must improve. We anticipate a tough and competitive weekend – first against our rivals and also between our drivers.
“Everything is still very much up for grabs this season and we will be keeping our foot firmly to the floor.”
McLaren – 2019 Spanish Grand Prix Preview
Carlos Sainz: “I’m so excited for my home race. It’s always such a special occasion and I can’t wait to see all the fans in the Circuit and especially those in my grandstand, I’m looking forward to seeing it in full papaya!”
“It was great to get some good points on the board in Baku. We knew the pace was there and it was a matter of being patient and working hard. Now my target is to add to that tally in front of my home crowd and throughout the upcoming European season.”
“We cannot let ourselves get carried away by a good result in Baku, so we’ll keep pushing hard.”
Lando Norris: “I’m looking forward to starting the European season; there are a few circuits coming up that I’ve raced at before, including Barcelona. Racing at tracks I know helps me hit the ground running when preparing for the weekend. It only feels like yesterday that we were in Spain for pre-season testing.”
“Heading back to where we first tested the car should give us a good indication of the car’s performance and the areas we need to improve. It’s also good to have the Brand Centre back for the European races, it really adds to the atmosphere in the paddock.”
ROKiT Williams Racing – 2019 Spanish Grand Prix Preview
Robert Kubica: “The Circuit de-Barcelona Catalunya is a track that everybody knows very well, not only from Formula One testing but also from previous categories. Since winter testing, a lot has changed with the main difference being the weather and the track conditions.”
“I think everybody is looking forward to returning to Spain – it is the first typical European race and event where upgrades are bought – let’s see what we can achieve.”
George Russell: “I am excited to go back to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as I won there last year in Formula2. We have got some exciting items to test in Barcelona and hope that will guide us in the right direction.”
“We hope that all of this will be positive steps to try and turn our season around.”
Alfa Romeo Racing – 2010 Spanish Grand Prix Preview
Kimi Raikkonen: “If we take the results from winter tests in Barcelona then the upcoming race could be OK for us, even if I’m sure all the teams have improved their performance since then.”
“Still, our car is good and the pace is good – we just need to work on improving here and there and if we get the best out of the car, this could be a successful weekend.”
Antonio Giovinazzi: “I hope that I’ll be able to score my first points in Barcelona – after missing FP2 in Bahrain and FP1 in China, I think that practices are not for me.”
“I was joking with the team and said that it will be better for me to turn up on Saturday for Qualifying but hopefully we can have a strong weekend. It’s now time to be consistent and see if we can do things well throughout the weekend and I’m pretty sure that we can get the first points in Barcelona.”
More coming soon so make sure you check back for all the latest.