The Spanish GP will abandon its much-disliked chicane this year!
Hated by F1 fans the world over, Barcelona has changed its layout to remove the overtake-killer…
Rejoice! The universally disliked chicane in Barcelona - introduced in 2007 in a failed bid to increase overtaking - will be dropped for the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix in June.
Pictured above with a 2020 Williams (presumably because it’s such an uninspiring part of the track that race photographers rarely go there), the layout has few fans having earned a reputation as something of a fun sponge.
Frequently cars would close up on rivals until slowing to a crawl through the chicane, giving those in front enough of a gap to floor the throttle and stay ahead down the home straight. A sequence that would repeat lap after lap.
Doubly annoying was that the original (much better) layout of two fast right-handers is still there, and no one had thought to revert to it since the current generation of F1 cars became able to run gearbox-to-nose through exactly those types of corners.
Until now. Organisers have announced that the introduction of new Tecpro barriers at the last two turns means the faster layout is back on the menu for F1’s next visit in June.
Approved by the FIA’s Stuart Roberston (head of circuit and rally safety) and race director Niels Wittich, the changes mean the circuit length stands at 4.657; 18 metres shorter than before. But also a good deal faster, you would think.
Elsewhere the run-off area outside Turn One has been boosted, and the leaderboard tower at the end of the pit lane has been modernised to give fans a clearer picture of who’s in the lead.
And judging by pre-season testing, it’ll probably be Red Bull and Max Verstappen…
Still, fingers crossed for more (and no more DRS trains) at the Spanish GP.
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