The race takes place at the fast and flowing Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 30km away from the Catalan capital Barcelona. There’s always a buzz in the paddock as drivers and teams know the track well following countless days of racing and testing, plus there’s the added comfort of the motorhomes and trucks.
Renault Sport will bring some new modifications to the R.S.16 and R.E.16 to keep its momentum going. For the race, the team will use an updated rear wing as well as some updates for the front wing. In the two days of testing that will happen after the race, the team will have a full raft of things to try including new suspension, further aero updates over various areas of the car, some mods to cooling as well as evaluating the B-spec power unit.
As managing director, Cyril Abiteboul, commented: ‘We look at this race as a marker in the sand: the exit point of our recovery from the takeover and the first race as ‘our’ team. It will start small, but I’m confident we will gain momentum as we go forward.’
Drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer are equally upbeat after Russia. Kevin enjoys the track after he won the World Series by Renault Championship title there in 2013, while Jolyon would like to repeat Kevin’s success in Russia: ‘Kevin scored points for the team in Sochi so we know what’s possible. It’s the first race in Europe and at a track we all know really well. I’m pretty pumped-up for a strong weekend.’
Third and reserve driver Esteban Ocon will also get his Renault Sport debut in Barcelona as he takes to the track in FP1, replacing Jolyon Palmer.