Catalunya Track Guide | Sector 2 | 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 2 is a technical one, with various corner types and some significant elevation changes. The Turn 7-8 chicane requires real concentration to get right. Sector 2 ends with the famous blind Turn 9 - Campsa, which is only flat out in some situations, making it a particular challenge.

Turn 4 (Repsol): Entry

Take as wide a line as possible into Turn 4 - Repsol by straddling the entry kerb. Stay in 7th gear on the approach and use the shadow as a braking reference but remember that this will be different at different times of the day so you need to recalibrate. You can also just use the bridge instead.

Downshift very quickly to 4th gear at the same time as braking to aid rotation, taking a slightly later turn-in than normal.

Turn 4 (Repsol): Apex

Arriving at the apex of Turn 4, focus on maintaining good minimum speed, using the slight camber to your advantage. Clip the white line early in 4th gear and then run out towards the exit. Shift up to 5th as you reach the middle of the track.

Try to avoid getting on the power too early as this can cause understeer and push you wide. Only get back on the power when you are confident you never have to take it off again.

Turn 4 (Repsol): Exit

Let the car run naturally out to only gently touch the exit kerb on the left to avoid scrubbing speed. Reach full throttle before you get to the exit kerb and shift up to 6th gear.

As soon as you get to the outside kerb smoothly begin making your way back across the track to be on the right-hand side before the braking zone of T5.

Turn 5 (Seat): Entry

Once you have got back over to the right, stay in 6th gear and try to get your wheels straight for braking into Turn 5 - Seat. This braking is a tricky one, as it is slightly downhill and easy to lock up the inside front tyre - shift the brake bias rearwards slightly.

Brake initially on the tarmac as the green board goes out of view on the right. Take a wide arc into the corner, even using some of the outside kerb to open up the entry.

Shit down to 3rd gear before turn-in and then 2nd for the apex.

Turn 5 (Seat): Apex

Just before arriving at the apex, shift down from 3rd to 2nd gear to give a bit more rotation to help you get to the apex. Aim for the white line as the kerb will reduce your exit traction.

Once you feel the front gripping up and the car begins to rotate well, short-shift up to 3rd and get back on the power once the wheel is straightened.

Turn 5 (Seat): Exit

Exiting Seat, make use of all the available track so that the left tyres are on, but not over, the white line to take as much speed down the hill as possible.

Short-shift to 3rd gear as soon as you pass the kerb for better traction. Make sure to reach full throttle as the wheel is straightened and before you get to the exit kerb.

Turn 6

Turn 6 is not really considered a corner in most people's eyes as it is easily flat out, but it still officially counts as one. Just make sure to take a shorter route through it to get to T7, aiming to be back on the right-hand side for braking. However, don't get too greedy as it can make it difficult to get back to the right place for the T7 entry.

Turn 7 (Würth): Entry

The braking phase of Turn 7 (Würth) is very quick and you can also make use of the outside kerb on entry to give a wider line into the apex. Brake as the kerb starts whilst on the tarmac and then drift over to use the entry kerb.

Approach the corner in 7th gear and then double shift to 5th gear for turn-in. Following the rotation, shift again to take the apex in 4th gear.

Turn 7 (Würth): Apex

It is critical to mount this inside kerb here, using the astro but making sure not to go over the white line with the right wheels. It is very easy to get invalidated here.

Try to hold the wheel still when riding the kerb for stability as spins are very possible on this kerb. Holding a light throttle can help to neutralise the balance too.

Use 4th gear at the apex but then shift up to 5th before you get to the apex of T8.

Turn 8 (Würth)

Turn 8 comes very quickly after T7. Similarly to T7 you want to take lots of kerb but T8 differs because of the addition of a sausage kerb on the inside - you want to aim to miss this or it will give you a poor exit going up the hill.

Like T7 it can be easy to invalidate your lap here so be very wary of where the limits of the track are so you don't get a penalty.

Shift up to 5th gear before taking the kerb and use full throttle up the hill. Keep the steering angle to a minimum as you drift out wide towards the left on exit.

Turn 9 (Campsa): Apex

Turn 9 (Campsa) is arguably one of the most famous and challenging corners on the circuit. The blind right-hander at the top of the hill requires ultimate commitment and is almost flat out for the top cars in F1 in 2021.

In F1 2021 take this one in 6th gear and modulate the throttle, straddling the kerb to help you turn. This is not something a real F1 car would do as it would reduce the undertray downforce.

Turn in as the entry kerb finishes and run all the way out on exit - using as little steering lock as you can.

Turn 9 (Campsa): Exit

On the exit of Campsa you can make good use of the available exit kerb, being ready to open DRS as soon as you cross the line and the car is straight. Since you are opening DRS at a high-speed, it is even more important to open the DRS quickly as the drag effect will be amplified at high speed.

Open up the steering as early as you can to 'free-up' the car and allow it to accelerate down the straight.

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