With the first four races of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship in the book, we return to familiar ground this weekend as the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya plays host to the Spanish Grand Prix. The fifth round of the year kick starts the traditional European leg of the season and presents a track that is very familiar to both Robert and George, given its status as the venue of pre-season testing. After the race weekend, the second in-season test of 2019 is scheduled to take place with the team’s Official Reserve Driver, Nicholas Latifi, driving the FW42 on both days.
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: For the fifth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship we return to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Conditions will be quite different to those we experienced during winter testing. Barcelona remains a popular event for testing new components and introducing upgrades. With our Friday running in Baku being heavily curtailed, we have a range of test items for consideration on Friday. However, as the race is immediately followed by a two-day test, we can concentrate on the short-term items on Friday before switching focus to the longer-term learning during the test.
Tyre compounds for the race event are taken from the stiff end of the Pirelli range and could prove challenging for everyone depending on the track conditions.
Since returning from Baku, the team in Grove have done an excellent job to recover the damaged components whilst also ensuring that all the test items arrive in Barcelona on time.
Robert Kubica: The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a track that everybody knows very well, not only from Formula One testing, but also from previous categories. Since winter testing in Barcelona, a lot has changed, with the main difference being the weather and track conditions. I think everybody is looking forward to returning to Spain; it is the first typical European race and event where upgrades are brought. Let’s see what we can achieve.
George Russell: I am excited to go back to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as I won there last year in Formula 2. We have got some exciting items to test in Barcelona that we hope will guide us in the right direction for the remainder of the season. We hope they will be positive steps, to try and turn our season around.