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F1 2022

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya planning significant tweak for F1

The track operator is seeking approval from the FIA to run a version of the circuit without the final chicane for Formula 1 races.

XPB 1145617 Hi Res
To news overview © XPBimages

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is planning a significant tweak for future F1, intending to run races without the final chicane to improve overtaking opportunities.

The circuit added the Turns 14 and 15 chicane in 2007 due to safety reasons, prior to that the cars ran flat out through two right-handers before the start/finish straight.

To make the tweaks they must ensure that the circuit complies with the safety requirements to be granted an FIA Grade 1 licence, which is required to host F1 races. This would include increasing the run-off area and safety systems at the corner.

At the moment the track only has an FIA Grade 1 licence to run races with the chicane, but a spokesperson told RacingNews365.com that they plan to homologate to Grade 1 without it.

They said: "The intention is to homologate the track without the chicane at the beginning of 2023 (end of January-February). But the track with the chicane will remain the same.

"Once the homologation is done, every promoter will be in position to choose in which layout they want to compete (with or without the chicane)."

Drivers suggest changes

The track has come under fire in the past for the track design and the ability to pull off overtaking moves, with DRS being ineffective down the start/finish straight.

Various drivers have suggested changes, including George Russell who felt that it has been one of the worst tracks for racing.

Carlos Sainz also suggested that he would like to see a return of the old track layout after the race in 2021.

The circuit went back to an older version of their layout in 2021 at Turn 10, reverting to the faster corner rather than the tight bend.

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