In Barcelona, F1 fans can look forward to a big upgrade festival. We already went hunting for new parts in the pit lane on Thursday. You can see the result in the gallery.
Anyone who likes action will be regularly disappointed in Barcelona. The Catalan Grand Prix circuit lacks long straights and good overtaking spots. If you want to pass an opponent, you have to be much faster. Instead, more spectacle is offered on the technology front. The development race always progresses particularly quickly at the Spanish GP.
This season the teams have again announced a lot of upgrades. By Friday at the latest, all engineers have to drop their pants. Then the FIA publishes the long list of new parts. And then the teams have to present their facelifted racing cars to the curious photographers in the pit lane.
Aston Martin completely renewed
On Thursday (May 19th) we started our hunt for the first upgrades, which wasn't that easy. Aston Martin tried to hide behind large tool containers in the garage. But through the gaps in the cover you could already see that the AMR22 had to endure a major cosmetic operation.
The air intakes are no longer square, but rounded. The arrangement of the coolers shows that the side boxes no longer run horizontally to the rear, but rather slope downwards like a ramp. In order to bring the expansion stage to the track in time for both cars, a real tour de force was necessary in the factory. The last parts should not arrive in Barcelona until Thursday evening.
It's also worth taking a closer look at Mercedes. When unloading the Silver Arrow from the transport truck, you could already see the new underbody with a longitudinal slit in the outer edge. An additional fin was attached to the front of the skid, as is also known from Ferrari, Aston Martin and Red Bull. All this should help to alleviate the annoying bouncing.
Alfa with a new start number
Alfa Romeo also has something in store for Barcelona. The whole package, including the new front wing and new underbody, is initially only available to Valtteri Bottas. There was not enough time to produce all the components in duplicate. During the technical inspection, the engineers first sent the sister car to the front, which was still missing a few of the new parts.
Instead, the new start number caught the eye. Robert Kubica's "88" was glued to the hood. The Pole is allowed to replace Guanyu Zhou in the first practice session and do a few practice laps. As always, in the gallery we show you lots of technical pictures, but also some colorful impressions of the preparations for the Barcelona weekend