ROUND 5 OF 19
The Catalunya circuit on the outskirts of Barcelona is well known to the drivers and teams, following two tests in February where we got an early glimpse of the performance of this yearís cars. A staple on the calendars of not just Formula One but many other motorsport series, the layout combines long sweeping corners with twisty technical sections Ė a key reason why Formula One chooses this circuit to give its cars a thorough workout before the season starts. Williams has managed to secure six wins at the Spanish Grand Prix, including a memorable victory in 2012.
Susie Wolff returns to the FW37 for FP1 having previously driven at the pre-season test here in Barcelona. This Grand Prix also marks the 40th anniversary of the last time a female driver scored a World Championship point in Formula One.
We're heading into the European season after a reasonably successful campaign that has put us a solid third position in the championship. Our aim now is to keep moving forward and close the gap to the teams in front. Barcelona is a good measure of everyoneís upgrade packages and shows how well teams have developed their cars. The circuit is an excellent test of a Formula One car with Turn 3 offering a long, high speed test and sector three always being demanding on the car as it exposes its performance levels. We are heading into the weekend with a lot of confidence but there will be a lot of work to do leading up to qualifying as we learn about the new updated package.
Weíve completed two weeks of testing in Barcelona over the winter so we know how our car can perform around the circuit and are probably more prepared for this race than any other race on the calendar. Itís a nice track with a lot of fans in the grandstands and a great city on the doorstep. We have shown in the first few races that we have a good car and a few upgrades will be appearing in Spain that we need to make the most of if we are going to close the gap to the cars in front. Itís good to be back in Europe and I hope we can start this part of the season with a strong result.
Barcelona is a track everyone knows really well as weíve done plenty of laps there this season in testing. Itís one of those tracks where if you are good in qualifying you can have a good race as overtaking isnít that easy. Iím confident that we will have a good chance to fight for a strong position. We will be bringing some upgrades for the car as well, so it will be interesting to see if they work as expected. I imagine most teams will be bringing something new to the race and would have made good use of the three week gap and the circuit's relative closeness to each team's factory. Being in Europe also eliminates the jet lag we experience so we can get a bit more training in before the race. Iím really looking forward to starting the European season.