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Formula 1

Spanish Grand Prix 2024: European triple-header kicks off at Circuit de-Catalunya Barcelona

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Heading to Spain, Red Bull looks to win for 3rd Straight time. McLaren aims to continue their impressive form that was displayed at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. While Ferrari would like to forget the previous GP and come back on top.


The Spanish Grand Prix kicks off the triple header, as the European leg of the season starts. Red Bull’s recent technical woes and potential penalties cast a shadow over their dominance. Can they regain control, or will Ferrari capitalize on their momentum and a Barcelona track suited to their car? McLaren, the season’s surprise, and an upgraded Mercedes add spice to the mix, making this Spanish showdown a true test for all contenders.

Know The Circuit


The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, a 4.657 kilometer (2.894 mile) masterpiece nestled near Barcelona, Spain, is renowned for its ability to push both car and driver to their limits. Long stretches of high-speed straights, like the 1,047-meter pit straight, set the stage for exhilarating battles in acceleration and DRS-assisted overtaking maneuvers into the first turn, a crucial braking zone. Maintaining control and aerodynamic efficiency is paramount as drivers navigate a series of medium and high-speed corners, with Turns 3 and the Campsa corner complex (Turns 9 and 10) proving particularly challenging tests of a car’s balance and setup.

But Barcelona isn’t just about raw speed. Sharp chicanes like La Caixa (Turns 13 and 14) demand lightning-fast reflexes and precise steering inputs to maintain momentum through these tight turns. The final sector truly separates the skilled from the merely fast. Here, a combination of slow hairpins and medium-speed corners puts tire management at a premium. Drivers must find the perfect balance between pushing their car for optimal performance and preserving tire life for the crucial latter stages of the race.

This diverse layout ensures the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a true test for all contenders. Teams need to meticulously craft a car with a well-rounded package, striking a crucial balance between downforce for the technical sections and a low-drag configuration for the high-speed straights.


Red Bull Chasing Consistency in Barcelona: Verstappen Leads, But Can They Follow?


Red Bull arrives in Barcelona with a spring in their step, thanks to Max Verstappen’s dominant win in Canada. Verstappen leads the driver’s championship comfortably, showcasing the raw speed of the RB17. However, beneath the celebratory surface, cracks are beginning to show.

Max Verstappen and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrate victory after the Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool)


Reliability remains a concern. Sergio Perez’s retirement in Canada due to Perez’s late-race crash and 3-place grid penalty for the upcoming weekend. This makes it even harder for him to support Verstappen, especially on a track like Barcelona where overtaking is notoriously difficult.

Marko initially wanted Perez to wait for a contract extension so he would not slack off. This did happen in Canada. Marko said:
“He didn’t have to comply. We extended his contract because we wanted to bring calm to our team. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out. But now Checo has three races before the at three real circuits, so he can prove himself.”
Perez finished no further than eighth in Imola and then failed to score any points in the Monaco and Canada Grands Prix, after crashing in both races. As a result, he is currently ahead of Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz in the F1 championship.


“Coming into Spain I know I need a successful weekend, after a disaster in Canada,” Perez looks ahead to the Spanish GP. “Sometimes you are forced to reset a little and we have done that since the last race. I have been in Milton Keynes working with the Team to try and identify where and what we can do better to ensure I am getting the most out of this car.”


Throughout what has been a relatively tricky last six weeks or so for the reigning constructors’ champions, Red Bull have regularly hinted they expect things to run far more smoothly from this point onwards. The characteristics of the track in Barcelona, one of F1’s most used circuits for testing, are expected to suit the field-leading aerodynamic efficiency of the RB20.


Ferrari: Back on Track in Barcelona? (Maybe)


Ferrari arrives in Spain desperate to bounce back from a disastrous Canadian Grand Prix. A double retirement for Leclerc and Sainz left them empty-handed. However, there’s a flicker of hope as historically, the Circuit de Barcelona has suited their car’s characteristics.

The focus for Ferrari will be on reliability. They need to address the gremlins that plagued them in Canada to challenge for the win. Barcelona’s long straights should favor their powerful engine, but can they translate raw pace into race-day results?
While Ferrari has seemingly made strides this season, Vasseur warned against letting complacency creep into the situation.


“We have to continue like this, but the worst-case scenario would be to imagine that it’s done, that it will be like this until the end. We are competing more with McLaren or Red Bull and it will be up and down until the end of the season.
“We have to score good points when we are not at the top and to be able to win when we are there. But nothing changes.”


Reports out of Italy suggest that Ferrari is trying to speed up planned upgrades in order to be ready for the Spanish Grand Prix. New parts designed to improve speed were expected to be in place for the July 7 British Grand Prix.
But rather than waiting two more races, Ferrari is hoping to complete those upgrades immediately and roll them out in Barcelona. It seems that a double elimination led to enough frustration within the team that Ferrari decided not to wait two more races to make improvements.


Ferrari’s objective is for the updated floor to improve low speed-performance. It is almost certain that both drivers will have the new specifications. In addition to the new floor, we should see changes to the rear bodywork, tray area and ramps towards the diffuser, as well as improved small deflector elements.

This is an important step forward, which should respond to McLaren’s attack and repel the progress at Mercedes. Ferrari hopes to improve aerodynamic efficiency and load quality – which should allow them to keep the pressure on Verstappen. As always, the Barcelona circuit should provide a good verdict on the quality of work done.
Leclerc trails Verstappen in the championship, and a strong showing in Spain is crucial. Teammate Sainz, racing at his home Grand Prix, will be pushing hard to add some much-needed points for the Scuderia. Can Ferrari overcome their recent struggles and reignite their championship challenge?

McLaren: Momentum Masters in Spain?


McLaren heads to Barcelona riding a wave of momentum. Lando Norris’ maiden win in Miami and consistent podium finishes since have propelled them into third place in the constructors’ championship.

The key for McLaren will be adapting their car to the demands of the Circuit de Catalunya. While their car excels on street circuits, Barcelona’s mix of high-speed corners and long straights presents a different challenge. Can they find the right setup to maintain their recent strong performances?
Reports suggest McLaren will introduce a new floor designed to improve tire warm-up. This could be a game-changer for them in Spain. A well-functioning floor generates aerodynamic downforce that helps manage airflow over the tires, influencing their temperature and grip levels. Regarding the upgrades, in the upcoming races, Stella revealed:


“For the coming races, we will have some upgrades, but they won’t be a single kind of big upgrade like we have seen over the last 12 months. This is more some individual components where we found a little bit of performance and rather than waiting to deploy everything together once ready we take it track side. So I won’t say what but we will see some new stuff coming over the few coming races.”


Norris sits comfortably behind Leclerc in the driver’s standings, and a strong showing in Spain could see him close the gap. Teammate Oscar Piastri has also been impressive, consistently scoring points. McLaren needs to capitalize on their current form and translate it into consistent results.
Can McLaren maintain their momentum and solidify their position as the best of the rest, or will the unique demands of Barcelona expose weaknesses in their car?


Are Mercedes really back?

Following the Canadian Grand Prix, Mercedes had their finest weekend of the 2024 season. With a second-place finish after starting on pole, George Russell gave the team its first podium of the season, and teammate Lewis Hamilton’s fourth-place finish, along with the bonus point for the fastest lap of the race, helped the Silver Arrows earn 28 points over the course of the weekend in Montreal.


Mercedes has been trying to make upgrades all season long and is set to introduce a new floor upgrade for the Spanish Grand Prix, following the success of a new front wing introduced recently. The new front wing has improved the balance characteristics of the car and suggested progress in understanding the current ground effect machinery. The team is happy with the progress that has been made thus far. With further developments planned, including the new floor, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff expressed optimism that the team is moving away from past difficulties where improvements didn’t meet expectations.

Previewing this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff outlined

“We have continued to make incremental gains across the past few races. It was encouraging therefore to take another positive step forward in Canada,”
“Now directionally we seem to be adding performance every weekend and we have new stuff coming also, new parts coming in Barcelona that should help us. So I would very much hope that we can continue this positive trajectory.”


Carlos Sainz’s future
Two Formula One teams are making offers to Carlos Sainz, but they won’t hold out for long, and the Spanish Grand Prix, also a home race, is widely regarded as his chance to make a commitment to his career.

Sainz has to choose whether to commit to Audi, which is taking over the Sauber team ahead of the 2026 season, or give up on the possibility of a place at Mercedes. Nevertheless, it seems that a lot of rebuilding work is needed despite the abundance of resources available, not to mention the need to create a brand-new power unit that can rival the latest generation from well-known suppliers like Mercedes, Ferrari, and Honda.


That might be forcing Sainz toward Williams, which, although being at the end of the grid right now, is undergoing an amazing makeover under James Vowles’ leadership, supported by funding from owners Dorilton Capital. The team anticipates that this will result in better performance when 2026 and 2027 roll around. Additionally, it hopes to gain from the brand-new power units that go into service in 2026. Williams’ agreement ensures that Mercedes, which had the best unit by a wide margin following the most recent significant regulation change in 2014, will continue to provide it
But Sainz’s decision is only the beginning. His pick might serve as the catalyst for a chain reaction of driver actions, with the team Sainz rejects then going for their second option and possibly causing more moves that will fill several of the eight open spots on the 2025 grid.

Weather Conditions


FRIDAY, JUNE 21 – FP1 AND FP2
Maximum temperature expected: 26 Celsius
Minimum temperature expected: 16 Celsius

SATURDAY, JUNE 22 – FP3 AND QUALIFYING
Maximum temperature expected: 27 Celsius
Minimum temperature expected: 17 Celsius


SUNDAY, JUNE 23 – THE RACE
Maximum temperature expected: 23 Celsius
Minimum temperature expected: 17 Celsius

Weekend Schedule

You can watch all the sessions live on F1TV or Fancode. The detailed schedule is given below:

Formula 1

A Three way Battle in Budapest: The 2024 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix Preview.

Formula One returns to the historic Hungaroring, a tight twisty and unpredictable race track. Read DRC’s race preview here.

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As Red-Bull and Mclaren pull away from the field, Mercedes joins the party. With three race winning cars on track, all three will look to bag good points, while Ferrari will be hopeful for a better result. Welcome to DRC’s F1 Hungarian Grand Prix Preview.

Read the British Grand Prix Review here.


Know the Hungaroring

The tight and twisty Hungaroring track is located in Mogyorod, 11 miles west of the Hungarian capital, Budapest. Described as an enlarged go-kart circuit, it is one of the most technically challenging circuits on the calendar.

The Hungaroring Circuit.
The Hungaroring circuit. Photo credits: F1

The 14 corner track is also called Monaco without the walls, owing to it’s high downforce requirements. Even though overtaking is very difficult here, the track has undergone only one major revision, which was in 2003. The main straight was extended another 200 meters to make it 900m long, and the first corner was tightened to promote overtaking.

The track contains two back-to-back DRS zones, followed by a technical middle sector full of chicanes and esses. The final sector is a short one, only featuring two hairpins that feed back into the main straight. A good middle sector is crucial here.

Historically, Hungary has been a circuit full of firsts. It was the first and only circuit to host a race beyond the Iron Curtian. It is also famous for giving drivers their first wins. Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen and most recently, Esteban Ocon have taken their first wins here. Max Verstappen took his first pole back in 2019 at the Hungaroring too.

The 2024 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix will consist of 70 laps around this 4.381 kilometer circuit, with a two stop strategy as the norm.


Red Bull look to fight back blow for blow

Over the last few races, Red Bull has fallen off the pace and is slowly falling into the clutches of McLaren, and even Ferrari. Right now, Red Bull lead Ferrari by 71 points, closely followed by McLaren. With both McLaren cars consistently finishing in the top 5 in the last races bar Norris’s retirement in Austria, and Checo only scoring 8 points in the last five races, it has become difficult for Max and Red Bull to outscore the Papaya clad team.

McLaren’s last upgrade has significantly improved their performance, while Red Bull is still struggling to find and mend the issues with the RB20. Verstappen recently tested the RB18 at Imola, in an attempt to figure out the problem with the new car. As Red Bull work hard to rectify their problems, McLaren seems to be getting better and better. And now with Mercedes back in the fray, a new challenger is rising to take their throne.

Max Verstappen testing the RB18 at Imola.
Max Tests the RB18 in Imola. Image cradits: Autosport

Another factor is the two on one that Max has to face. With Checo qualifying poorly, Max has to take on the McLaren, and sometimes the Mercedes pair alone. Two cars in the mix would greatly help Red Bull, and Checo will be motivated to improve his Qualifying and Race records.


Mercedes on the up as Hamilton eyes another record

The Hungaroring has always been kind to Mercedes. They have the most wins here in the Turbo-Hybrid era. Russell and Hamilton snatched pole here in 2022 and 2023 respectively. Hamilton has also won eight races here, and his first victory with Mercedes came here in 2013.

Mercedes usually nail the set-up here. With the team riding high after back-to-back victories in Austria and Silverstone, they would love to go for a treble. Lewis Hamilton will also eye a record equaling nine victories. After his win in Silverstone, he now holds the record for most wins at a single circuit with 9.

George Russell also has a fantastic track record here, finishing in the points every year since 2021, where he came eight for a struggling Williams. A podium and a top 5 finish followed in 2022 and 2023.

Mercedes will want to secure a large bag of points here, to reduce the 152 points defecit they have to the leaders Red Bull and to catch up with McLaren and Ferrari.


A Ferrari Renaissance on the Horizon?

Ferrari seems to have dropped off after their excellent performances in Melbourne and Monaco. This year, Ferrari seem to be a heavily down-force reliant car, with podiums for Charles and Carlos in Sakhir, Jeddhah, Melbourne and Suzuka, all tracks which require downforce. Of course their victories on the streets of Melbourne and Monte-Carlo confirms this.

Charles Leclerc Wins in Monaco.
Ferrari have dominated the Downforce heavy circuits. Image Credit: Anonymous

Their struggles at the more balanced tracks of Canada and Barcelona, along with power heavy tracks like Austria and Silverstone have cost them dearly. It is also evident that the Ferrari is one of the more draggy cars on the straights and struggle with straight line speed.

As the Hungaroring is a heavy-downforce track, it seems like Ferrari have a shot at victory here. This might be one of the few chances for them to get points during the European Leg of the season, along with Zandvoort and Baku. Consequently, Ferrari have bought new floor upgrades to make most of this valuable chance. A huge points haul in the Hungarian Grand Prix will solidify their chances against McLaren, Red Bull and even Mercedes who look threatening.


Dark Clouds loom over the race

An alarming video was shared by Mikey Brown, a mechanic at Aston Martin, shows the Pitlane flooding in what he described as “a HUGE storm” . McLaren, having barely repaired their motorhome in time for the British GP after the fire in Catalunya, have suffered another issue. The repaired motorhome has lost it’s roof multiple times over this week, thanks to the speedy winds.

Even though Meteorologists predict a dry weekend, a small rain shower, combined with the high humidity in Hungary this time of year can put the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend in doubt.


Championship Standings

This is how the championship looks as we head into the race weekend:

The 2024 Formula One world championship standings as of 18/07/2024.
Credits: F1

Race Weekend Schedule

All events during the weekend are available to watch on F1TV and Fancode. The times given below are in IST(GMT +5:30).

DRC's Hungarian Grand Prix Race weekend schedule.

Follow Desi Racing Co to keep up to date with the speedy world of motorsports.

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Formula 1

Toyota rumoured to partner with Haas in an exhilarating return to F1

Toyota rumoured to partner with Haas to back a sensational return to F1.

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As the F1 silly season continues, a rather surprising bit of rumour is that the world’s largest automaker, Toyota, is set to return to the F1 grid as early as 2025 with the Haas F1 team.

Credits: Haas F1 team

The partnership is said to start out with a sponsorship deal, possibly with a renaming on the cards. A deal akin to that of Alfa Romeo and Sauber. With the possibility of a future technical partnership on the chassis/engine development. Toyota will likely join Dallara in assisting Haas for the chassis. Other talks suggest that Haas will use Toyota’s facilities for development and manufacturing. While this means Toyota won’t be directly involved in the construction of the F1 car, it means Haas gets a huge boost in infrastructure, experience, etc; and Toyota gets a new source of income.

Toyota’s history in F1

The Japanese manufacturer has seen immense success in WEC, taking 5 consecutive 24 hours of Le Mans victories from 2018 to 2022 and WRC, clinching the manufacturers’ championship in 2018, 2021, and 2022, and the championship for drivers and co-drivers every year since 2019. It wasn’t so for its time in F1, or at least according to Toyota’s standards and ambition.

Credits: Toyota-europe.com

Toyota made their debut F1 in 2002. The team scored 17 podiums, and 3 pole positions but never achieved a victory. Only securing 2nd place as their best finish till they dropped out of the sport in 2009, midway through the development of the 2010 car.

What does this mean for Haas, Toyota, and F1?

Toyota’s failure was blamed on a lot of factors, this deal gave the Japanese manufacturer a second chance to right their wrongs. Haas has been on a consistent upward trajectory throughout the 2024 season. With Nico Hulkenberg scoring back-to-back P6 finishes at the Austrian and British GP, and Kevin Magnussen backing that up with commendable performances. The deal could help Haas gain the brute force of employees, resources & financial aid. Something that they have been lacking to make a meaningful impact in the sport.

F1 would most certainly benefit from having a Japanese Manufacturer in the sport. The Japanese GP attendance and the growing popularity of F1 have been steadily increasing in the country. Toyota’s return could also provide F1 with a boost to their competitiveness and financial gains.

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Formula 1

GIFT City’s Formula 1 Racetrack Plans Hit a Roadblock

GIFT City’s ambitious plan to build a Formula 1 racetrack has stalled due to structural issues and high costs, sources reveal. Initially flagged off with a feasibility study, the project now faces uncertainties.

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Gujarat’s GIFT City’s ambitious plan to build a racetrack for holding Formula 1 (F1) races has come to a grinding halt just four months after initiating a feasibility study and selecting consultants, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Earlier this year, on March 11, the Gujarat Sports Authority announced that top international F1 racetrack designers were invited to present the feasibility of constructing an F1 racetrack at GIFT City. The project saw intense competition among global designers, with the consortium of renowned German designer Hermann Tilke and India’s Arcop architects emerging as the frontrunner for the feasibility study.

GIFT City (Photo: Amit Dave/Reuters)

However, GIFT City’s plan has been halted, insiders revealed. “Designers had given feedback that given the layout of GIFT City, it may be difficult to build a racetrack that conforms to F1 standards due to structural issues,” said one source.

The financial implications also pose a significant hurdle. Estimates place the cost of building such a racetrack between Rs 5,000 and 10,000 crore.

R.S. Ninama, Director General of the Gujarat Sports Authority, and Hermann Tilke have not responded to inquiries from ET. Another source indicated that the project might be integrated into a larger plan for developing infrastructure for the Olympics. “So, you may get a racetrack, but not one that can host F1 races,” the source added.

GIFT City, located in Gandhinagar, has been developed as a financial hub. The city is aimed at attracting international businesses with various tax incentives. The government is focusing on enhancing the city’s livability by developing entertainment and leisure infrastructure. Notable projects include an underwater aquarium, water sports facilities, and a retail zone featuring a 158-meter-high Ferris wheel.

This story has been derived from a story reported by Economic Times.

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