The Infiniti Red Bull Racing team arrive in Spain for the first European race of the 2015 Formula 1 season with a lot of work to do. Daniel Ricciardo is already on his fourth and final Renault power unit of the season, while Daniil Kvyat is hoping for a weekend without any troubles.
Ricciardo feels the Circuit de Catalunya track is fun to drive, and pinpoints the final sector for where tyre management is most important. He loves the atmosphere at the venue, especially when Fernando Alonso is on track, and believes with Carlos Sainz Jr and Roberto Merhi also there, it could be even better in 2015.
“I think most F1 drivers would say we’ve all done too many laps around here, but don’t get me wrong, it’s a great circuit,” insisted Ricciardo. “It’s fun to drive. The first two sectors have a really good flow to them, which is pretty cool. The last sector is a bit more about tyre management on the modern layout but the rest is exhilarating.
“We have a great atmosphere for the race. The circuit cuts into the hillside so there’s lots of good viewing areas and, so long as Alonso’s on track, it’s pretty crazy. That’s great for all of us, not just Fernando. It’s going to be good with three Spanish drivers in this year’s race. There’ll be a real buzz.”
Ricciardo believes the Spanish fans see the benefit of the DRS system more than at other tracks as it lessens the pre-DRS processional nature of the track.
“The race itself, I think it’s one where DRS is a big plus point,” insisted Ricciardo. “In the past, because everyone knew the track and their set-up so well, races tended to be a bit stale. I think the DRS means that you don’t get dull races any more.
“You can still defend though – it’s a good track for that – but in a way that’s going to make the race exciting for spectators.”
Team-mate Kvyat feels the technical nature of the Catalunya circuit makes it a challenge for the drivers, even with all the testing teams carry out at the circuit. The young Russian driver will be desperate for a good result and a clean weekend in Spain.
“Obviously the teams and drivers know the track very well simply through testing,” said Kvyat. “We’re there in pre-season and all the drivers do a lot of miles there.
“However, just because we do a lot of testing there it doesn’t mean the track is any less challenging for a driver. There’s a reason it’s used so much and that’s because it’s got a great variety of corners and a lot of different challenges.
“For a driver it’s a tough track, quite technical but if you get everything right then it’s really enjoyable.”