After a few weeks without any F1 (I like to refer to these weeks as ‘the dark times’) it’s back! Barcelona, Spain, is the place, and I dare say this is one of my favourite tracks on F1 games.
It’s a circuit noted for being hard to overtake on, thanks to a number of winding corners that follow one another quite quickly. The best point is at the end of the start-finish line into turn 1, though even here, seeing as turn 2 follows on pretty quickly, getting by someone can be tricky.
In 2014 Lewis Hamilton won here for Mercedes, with Nico Rosberg close behind. It was a fairly close thing between the pair, but in the end Hamilton pulled off his fourth straight win.
This time, Rosberg has scored his first pole position of 2015, an important act, given that Hamilton has been pretty comfortable so far. Hamilton will not like being second, but last season he proved himself very capable of passing Rosberg on the track, so I can’t imagine he will too unnerved.
Sebastian Vettel parked his Ferrari third on the grid, once again lurking near the Mercs. Bottas had a good qualifying session for Williams, ending up fourth, but perhaps the best performance belongs to Carlos Sainz Jr, who stuck his Toro Rosso in fifth, a great effort from the rookie. His teammate Max Verstappen was sixth, meaning both Toro Rosso’s have qualified ahead of the Red Bulls.
Kimi Raikkonen was seventh, and I can only wager he’d be a tad disappointed, along with Massa, who only put his Williams on ninth, sandwiched between the Red Bulls. Kyvat out qualified Ricciardo, taking 8th to Dan’s 10th.
Both McLarens made it to Q2 but remain someway off the pace. They’ll be hoping to have a sniff of points during the race, but then so will Lotus, whose cars are 11th and 12th (right ahead of the McLarens).
It should be an absorbing race, one I am looking forward to!