Round 5 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana Pirelli 2014, sees the sport back on ‘home turf’ as the European phase of the season gets underway.
John Booth, Team Principal: “The three-week break since China has been extremely beneficial for the Team, providing some respite after the first four long-haul races and the opportunity to regroup technically to ensure that we are in the best possible shape for the start of the European season. Spain is a key race, not least because it provides a very good barometer of car performance up and down the field. The weekend, coupled with next week’s two-day test, will also ensure everyone gets a good run at the implementation and evaluation of the new developments being introduced at this stage of the season. We will be bringing upgrades which can be considered a reasonable collective step. These are primarily aerodynamic, some of which are visible around the nose area and some perhaps a little more subtle. To complement the aero upgrades, we also have some mechanical changes which will allow us to better exploit the aero performance of the car. Naturally we hope to see confirmation of a positive development direction this weekend.”
Mattia Binotto, Scuderia Ferrari Engine & Electronics Deputy Director: “The Spanish Grand Prix opens the European season in Formula 1 and traditionally coincides with the introduction, by all the teams, of important updates on the car, therefore it is logical to also expect changes in the balance of power in the field, at every level. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a more ‘classic’ circuit than the previous Grands Prix, with fewer long straights and the requirement for greater downforce. Overtaking is typically quite difficult and it will be even more important to get a good position on the grid in order to score a good final result on Sunday afternoon. It is therefore important to try to optimise the performance of the power unit in order to provide the drivers with the maximum power available. At Scuderia Ferrari, our efforts to develop the power unit are relentless. In this context, of particular importance is the contribution that we receive from our customer teams, which allows us to not only to acquire very useful data on behaviour and reliability, but also to be able to determine more precisely the goals for improvement.”
Max Chilton, Driver No. 4: “After what will have been almost three weeks away from the car, I’m really looking forward to the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend. We have some interesting new developments and I can’t wait to see what these will bring. I’m sure Friday will be a very busy day of evaluation during the two free practice sessions, and of course there will be the chance to look at things a bit more closely after the race during the two-day test, so all in all we should leave Spain next week with a very good understanding of where we are.”
Jules Bianchi, Driver No. 17: “The first four circuits we have visited have all been quite different, and not so typical of the more traditional circuits we find on the European calendar, so it is always nice to get back to venues like Barcelona which we are a little more familiar with. This helps in terms of understanding the car a bit more. Having said that, this is not such a straightforward circuit; it’s quite bumpy and quite challenging to find a good set-up. Generally though, if we can get the car working well here, it is a good sign, especially with our new developments. It has been nice to have a break and take some time to consider the opening races, but now I am excited to get my teeth into the next phase of the season.”