News and views on motorsports

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Circuit de Catalunya

Watching the qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix, I've just had my first glimpse of the new changes at the Barcelona circuit. Oh Christ. What the hell did they do to the final two corners?

I wonder, do the FIA think that people enjoy watching the cars taking slow corners? I wonder if most fans actually love this sort of thing? Maybe I'm completely outdated these days but it seems to me that its only the fast corners that really show off the true abilities of grand prix cars. Barcelona's final two corners used to do this.

The attraction of Spa is not La Source but corners like Eau Rouge, Pouhon and Blanchimot. Pouhon especially is a spectacular corner where you can see a grand prix car lean hard into the turn. It also tests the driver's bravery and commitment and his skill and consistency in negotiating the best line in. Thats why Spa is a drivers' track.

I am saddened by the latest changes at Barcelona and to me, they've taken one of the more interesting features of the circuit. These are the sign of the (grand prix) times. Increasing commercialism and corporatisation hand in hand with overzealous obsession with safety taking all the fun out.

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