Barcelona Track Guide | Sector 3 | 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 3 is the slowest sector on the track and begins with the heaviest braking zone - making it one of the few overtaking spots. The end of the sector contains the tight RACC chicane which is all about taking the right amount of kerb. In 2021, they remodelled T10 & T11 but we don't have it in the game yet so we are stuck with the old layout.

Turn 10 (La Caixa): Entry

Turn 10 of La Caixa is the heaviest braking zone on the circuit and is all about late, straight-line braking. In 2021 Turns 10 and 11 were remodelled into one sweeping left-hander that is less tight than in before so this will change the braking point. However, we don't have it in-game yet. Stay tuned...

After spotting your braking, focus your eyes immediately on the apex of T10 as this helps you to hit the right spot.

Brake around the 100m board and keep all four wheels on the tarmac initially and then begin to drift onto the entry kerb at 50m for a wider entry. Shift down to 4th gear before you turn in.

Turn 10 (La Caixa): Apex

After rotation, shift down twice to 2nd gear to aid rotation and make a late apex by clipping the white line. The kerb will only unsettle the car.

Wait until you get the car rotated past the kerb and the steering straightens up before really getting back on the power.

Very soon after making the apex, short-shift to 3rd gear in the traction zone to dull the torque.

Turn 10 (La Caixa): Exit

Short-shift to 3rd gear, straighten the wheel and get on the power for the exit of T10.

Be cautious on the power and avoid the exit kerb as this will reduce your traction heading into T11. Shift up to 4th gear for T11.

Turn 11

Turn 11 is flat out. However, this year you can't take the kerb like last year as it will send you into a spin. Instead, just clip the edge of it and hug the inside.

Stay in 4th gear for stability and continue in 4th into T12. Prepare to hit the brakes for T12.

Turn 12 (Banc Sabadell): Apex

Turn 12 of Banc Sabadell is quite tricky to get right. There are multiple different lines you can take through here but generally, it can start to look like a subtle V-Line as you clip the apex, then drift out mid-corner and aim to get back to make a late second apex.

Begin to ride the brake at about 40% as you turn in and continue until about mid-corner.

Mid-corner understeer is common here, which can be helped with car setup. To minimise the understeer try shifting down from 4th gear to 3rd gear to kick out the rear.

Turn 12 (Blanc): Exit

When exiting Turn 12, pick up the throttle as you rotate the car through the mid-corner, creating a straighter exit. Bring the car back for a late apex around the bollard and then run out to the exit. Short-shift back up to 4th gear as you make the second apex and then 5th before the exit kerb.

Make use of the full track width on exit, keeping two wheels within the white lines.

Stay on this kerb all the way along until you get to the turn-in point for T13 as it is very flat and will not cost you time. The wider line will make T13 easier.

Turn 13 (Europcar)

Begin to brake and turn in as you go under the black light box. Using the green painted part of the kerb, make a wide entry in 5th gear and take the apex kerb in 3rd but slightly avoid the yellow sausage. This will cause the car to jump and lose traction and stability.

Try to avoid running too wide out of T13 because you need to get back over to the right quickly for T14. Aim to go no further than the white line. Short-shift to 4th gear on exit.

Turn 14 (Chicane RACC)

Turn 14 is tricky because the braking phase is downhill and you are typically turning and braking at the same time. This makes it very easy to lock the inside front. Get back over to the right and use the overhead gantry as the braking reference - just as you reach full power.

Shift down to 2nd gear and take the full apex kerb up to (but not on top of) the sausage kerb. Try to compromise the line out for a wider line into T15.

Turn 15 (Chicane RACC): Apex

In the transition between T14 and T15 squirt the throttle and shift up to 3rd gear as you are about to hit the kerb. Similarly to T14, take as much of the red and white kerb as you can without hitting the sausage kerb.

Try to compromise the line out of T14 for a wider line in. Coast over the kerb and then get straight back on the power.

Turn 15 (Chicane RACC): Exit

Coming out of Turn 15 get back on the power in 3rd as soon as possible because this will take you all the way down the main straight.

Make sure the wheel is straightened quickly to allow you to get back on the power and shift up to 4th before turning again for T16.

You want to maximise the exit here, being careful to keep two wheels inside the track limits or you will be invalidated. F1 2021 differs from real life here as there is not a sausage kerb in the sim so you can really make use of the track.

Turn 16 (New Holland)

The final corner, named New Holland, is easily taken at full throttle in 5th and 6th gear. The aim here is to be as smooth as possible to carry as much speed down the longest straight on the circuit. Don't use too much steering lock.

There is no need to take the kerb here as you want to keep the downforce working efficiently and avoid scrubbing speed. Just run the white line. Also, avoid using the exit kerb as there is no need.

There is a short time to open the DRS before reaching the line so make sure to save those extra few hundredths by hitting the button as early as possible at the same time as shifting into 7th gear.

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