Kvyat: Familiarity doesn’t belittle Barcelona challenge

© XPB 

Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat claims Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona remains a challenging track despite teams and drivers regularly testing at the Spanish Grand Prix venue.

Built in 1991 and nestled in the hills around the town of Montmeló, the circuit has gradually established itself as a mainstay of the Formula One calendar and will once again see the European season get underway next weekend.

Featuring a wide variety of corners, the track has become something of a teams’ favourite when it comes to sample their new machine. This is mostly why they elected to have two pre-season tests held at Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona last winter (with Red Bull sporting an eye-catching dazzle livery at the time).

Even before reaching the top echelon, rookies and younger drivers are already well acquainted with the Montmeló layout, having extensively raced and tested on it across junior categories.

According to Kvyat, this does not prevent the Spanish Grand Prix from always presenting a challenge to the F1 community.

“Obviously the teams and drivers know the track very well simply through testing,” said the 21-year-old Russian. “We’re there in pre-season and all the drivers do a lot of miles there. However, just because we do a lot of testing there it doesn’t mean the track is any less challenging for a driver.

“There’s a reason it’s used so much and that’s because it’s got a great variety of corners and a lot of different challenges. For a driver it’s a tough track, quite technical but if you get everything right then it’s really enjoyable.

Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo is also extremely familiar with Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona but remains equally pleased to visit the track that will host its 25th Spanish Grand Prix this year.

“I think most F1 drivers would say we’ve all done too many laps around here, but don’t get me wrong, it’s a great circuit.

“It’s fun to drive. The first two sectors have a really good flow to them, which is pretty cool. The last sector is a bit more about tyre management on the modern layout but the rest is exhilarating.”

Click here for a look at the radical Honda power unit design

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter