Ahead of the running of the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend, we thought we’d open up the blog again and share with you some of these handy-dandy ‘fast facts’ about the fifth round of the 2016 Formula One World Championship.
By the numbers
This is the 26th consecutive running of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The circuit first held the race in 1991 when newly constructed. It has been the home of the Spanish Grand Prix ever since.
Here, there and everywhere
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is the fifth track to host the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix and the third located in or around the city of Barcelona, continuing a tradition started with the Pedralbes street circuit (1951, 1954), and Montjuïc (1969, 1971, 1973, 1975). The race has also been held at the Circuito del Jarama, near Madrid (1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976-1981), and the Circuito de Jerez (1986-1990) in Andalusia.
Gaining the upper hand
The advantage of starting on the front row is accentuated at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Only twice has the winner come from further back: Michael Schumacher in 1996 from third, for Ferrari, and Fernando Alonso in 2013, from fifth, also for Ferrari. The race has otherwise been won from P2 four times and from pole on 19 occasions.
The record books
Ferrari are the most successful team in Spain with a dozen victories, eight of which have come at the Circuit de Catalunya. Williams are the next most successful team at this venue with six victories, the most recent being Pastor Maldonado’s triumph in 2012. Despite strong form in the last few years it remains Williams’ only victory of the last decade.
Stringing them together
Nico Rosberg has a chance this weekend to equal the record of five consecutive grand prix victories from the start of the season. The record is currently shared by Nigel Mansell (1992, South Africa to San Marino) and Michael Schumacher (2004, Australia to Spain).
Equaling the odds
Victory for Mercedes would be the team’s 11th consecutive win. That would equal the all-time record, currently held by McLaren, who won 11-in-a-row in 1988. It would also be Mercedes’ 50th in F1. It would put them fifth-equal with Red Bull in the all-time list of victorious constructors (though having started only two-thirds as many races as their rival).
Some kind of voodoo
Reinforcing Catalunya’s reputation as a bellwether circuit, the team that wins here has gone on to be Constructors’ Champions 18 times (72 per cent).
Round and round they go
As Formula One’s most used test track, unsurprisingly many of the drivers racing this weekend have racked-up considerable mileage here. Jenson Button leads the way. He has spent 124 days testing on this circuit, accumulating and impressive 8,160 laps for 38,123km. At the other end of the scale, Rio Haryanto has just 1,080km of testing here.
Max Verstappen this weekend becomes the ninth driver to race for Red Bull Racing. His predecessors over the team’s dozen seasons are: David Coulthard, Christian Klein, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Robert Doornbos, Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat. Kvyat, returning to Toro Rosso, is one of four drivers on the grid racing a second stint with a team for whom they have raced previously, the others being Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen, Nico Hülkenberg at Force India and Alonso at McLaren.