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Catalunya Track Guide | Sector 1 | F1 2021

The Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona is considered by many as a real all-rounder, which is one of the reasons why F1 often goes there for pre-season testing. The circuit has a really good mix of high, medium and low-speed corners to test any driver and their talents.


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Sector 1 is only made up of 3 corners, but that does not mean it is easy to get right. It starts with the quick right-left of the Elf complex and ends with the very long right-hander of Renault (T3). The challenge here is trying to use the right line so you can take T3 flat out.


Turn 1 (Elf): Entry

Approaching Turn 1-2 (Elf) with the DRS open, get fully over to straddle the outside kerb as early as you can. Brake primarily in a straight line using the grey tarmac on the left as a reference point.


Enter in 8th gear and then shift down to 5th as you decelerate, turn in at the 50m board and then shift down again to 4th gear for the apex.



Turn 1 (Elf): Apex

Shift down to 4th gear for T1 and use the full inside kerb. You can use the green painted part as this is fairly flat with good grip and the car seems to hook into a groove.


Short shift to 5th gear before T2 to manage the engine torque and keep the car stable.


T1 and T2 are interconnected so make sure not to run too wide out of T1 or it will compromise the run through T2.



Turn 2 (Elf)

Again, take the full inside kerb to run the smoothest line possible. You may need to modulate the power in 5th gear on the kerb to avoid running too wide on exit.


Make sure to use as little steering lock as possible through here as it can be easy to cause a spin under throttle application.


As you exit T2 you can run out towards the edge of the track but try to get back over slightly towards the centre of the circuit to prepare for the turn into T3. Do not run over the white line on the right.



Turn 3 (Renault): Apex

Turn 3, named Renault, is an almost 180° high-speed right-hander that can seem to go on forever.


It is just about flat out when you use the right line so be smooth and avoid scrubbing any unnecessary speed. Take it in 6th gear and shift up to 7th.


Keep tight to the inside white line initially and then drift out to the middle of the track mid-corner before returning to the right for the exit. You should not be running out to the left side of the track until you get to T4.



Turn 3 (Renault): Exit

Since T3 is so easily flat out you can use the excess downforce to stay towards the inside of the circuit to reduce the distance travelled and save a few hundredths.


Only let the car run to the left once you start to exit T3 onto the short straight, aiming to be fully over to the left by the time you brake for T4. Stay in 7th gear.



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