Saturday, May 9, 2009

F1: Postcard from Spanish Grand Prix


After nearly two months in Asia, Formula One returns to its heartland this weekend with the first European event of the championship, the Spanish Grand Prix.

Catalunya is usually regarded as a key turning point in the championship, with teams introducing their first true aerodynamic updates of the season after a long stint of fly-away races. This year is no different.

Ferrari, BMW and Red Bull are among the outfits set to make significant changes ahead of the race, potentially causing a further shake-up of the F1 grid.


One of the teams not expected to make a leap in progress this weekend though is McLaren, with reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton concerned the track will not suit his car.

“After such a positive performance in Bahrain, we’re fully aware the characteristics of the Barcelona track won’t suit our car so well,” he said.

“In addition, we won’t have the bigger upgrades of some of the other teams as we introduced several new parts during the opening flyaway races, so it will be interesting to see where we sit in the order.”

Meanwhile in news elsewhere:

Formula One BrawnGP Jenson Button

Runaway championship leader Jenson Button says he will not take a conservative approach in a bid to maintain his lead in the title race.

Button said: “You’ve got to be aggressive at this point in the season.

“It might all go wrong, but you’ve got to be aggressive, because if you potter around and pick up the points, you haven’t got a chance when it comes to the end of the year.”

Renault’s Fernando Alonso has come to the support of rival Lewis Hamilton as the Briton continues to reel from the aftermath of the ‘lie-gate’ fiasco.

Alonso said Hamilton’s role in the saga will be forgotten if he is able to return to his winning ways.

“I think to really help the reputation or whatever has been damaged, I think will be very easy if he keeps winning,” he said.

“He will make people happy, his supporters and that’s a very important thing, doing our job. The maximum we can do is driving the car, winning races, winning championships. This is the best thing you can do.”

Finally, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa said his team will not write-off the season and could make a charge up the grid this weekend.