The Barcelona Circuit de Catalunya Spanish F1 2005 preview
After Imola, Formula One 2005 moves to Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.
Fernando Alonso prepares for his home grand prix while
Ferrari, McLaren, BAR and Toyota hope for the best.
BY OUR AUTOMOBILES CORRESPONDENT
2005: So you thought at Imola, ferrari and its F2005-driving world champion gave adequate warning of their intention to beat back the renault challenge and reclaim what they think is rightfully theirs? one can't blame you. The Ferrari powering on taking on and dismissing every other Formula One car and dirver, and finally clinging to the tail of Aonso's renault was a sight to behold - and a sight to fear. For if Ferrari continued on in the same way, there is no hope for the much expected revival of spectator interest this season.
Yes, but not if Renault F1 and fernando Alonso can do anything to stop Ferrari and Schumacher. Alonso said, "I think that Ferrari found very special conditions in San Marino that worked perfectly for them, but it is not normal for one car to be so fast compared to every other car in the field, not just ours. Certainly, we are not now fighting the same Ferrari team we saw at the first three races, but I don't think we will be facing the same strength as in Imola either. Hopefully, things will be tougher for them this weekend." Fernando Alonso will race at Barcelona with the RS25 engine which Giancarlo Fisichella ran at Imola, and this powerplant is supposed to lighter and more powerful.
Alonso added, "The other teams are very quick, and we all test at Barcelona, so everybody knows the circuit. I think the competition will be very close, even more than we saw in Bahrain or Imola. However, if you look at the results, a Renault has won the first four races of the season, so everything is still there to fight for, and, historically, Barcelona has been a much better circuit for our team than Imola too, so we have to be confident for this race."
Wishful thinking? Maybe, maybe not. Sunday will tell.
Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona is expected to see a full house. fernando Alonso's Spanish fans will descend in full force, and let us hope Alonso will not disappoint them.
However, it really is exciting to see a resurgent Ferrari. No other car has the history in fe that Ferrari has, and one would definitely like to see some excitement courtesy the F1 world champion. We just do not want to see hi win too easily and take away the fun, that's all.
Anyway, pre-Catalunya, Formula One car testing is in full swing by all the teams, and it is in fuller swing by Ferrari much to the anger of the rest of the teams. See, ferrari si the only current Formula One team not honouring the gentleman's agreement to limit testing - and as you improve as you test, one cannto really expect other championship contendors to just site there and watch Ferrari testing. The team is currently testing several of their cars at different locations, and we are sure it's a mater of time before Renault and McLaren, and probably Williams start testing on their own. Especially if Barcelona sees them easily beaten by the Ferrari.
Toyota and BAR are confident, and a little tired of not gaining the top podium position after four races. They are going with enough poitns in their hands, and they too would like to see a Ferrari remain in their rear view mirrors.
Meanwhile, Sauber F1 has high hopes for the Circuit de catalunya. Their cars saw a revival at Imola, and former world champuion jacques Villeneuve scored his first points of the season there. They have firther improved their aerodynamic package for Barcelona, and the Spanish round is supposed to be won largely on aerodynamics.
Despite having been run so close for victory at the San Marino Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso remains convinced that Michael Schumacher and Ferrari won't be the class of the field in Spain.
Knowing that he will return home to a hero's welcome from a capacity crowd at the Circuit de Catalunya, Renault star Alonso claims that, while Schumacher was able to lap at anything up to a couple of seconds quicker than his rivals at Imola, that won't be the case this time around.
"We were certainly slower than Ferrari at Imola, even if we don't know for definite the reasons why," the Spaniard revealed, "However, the whole team has been working very hard to push even more for Barcelona.
"I think that Ferrari found very special conditions in San Marino that worked perfectly for them, but it is not normal for one car to be so fast compared to every other car in the field, not just ours. Certainly, we are not now fighting the same Ferrari team we saw at the first three races, but I don't think we will be facing the same strength as in Imola either. Hopefully, things will be tougher for them this weekend.
Meanwhile McLaren Mercedes F1 team have been tesitng at Jerez, and Pedro de la Rosa and Kimi Raikkonen worked on tyre testing with Michelin and durability runs. They also evaluated various set-ups as well as new aerodynamic developments. The MP4-20 was consistently fast, and Mclaren will be traying everything they can do ensure that poor Kimi Raikkonen does not end up like he did at Imola.
Jordan F1 and the drivers Narain karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro are both used to the barcelona race track. However, this is nof no real use as so are most of the other drivers. Minor improvements have been made to the car - expect them to stay ahead of the Minardis. They will attempt to inch closer to the Saubers, as Narain Karthikeyan has been approaching Sauber speeds in his Jordan, but never quite mustering up enough speed or power to pass them.