Motorsport News

2013 Spanish Grand Prix preview

Article image

Sniff Petrol’s sweaty faced, unpaid information hole Wurke Esperiense previews this weekend’s race.

It is a common mistake amongst English speakers to believe that Circuit de Catalunya literally translates as ‘Circuit of Catalonia’. In fact, the name has nothing to do with the surrounding area and derives from an unhygienic local practise involving sardines.

From 2006 until 2012 the Spanish Grand Prix was sponsored by successful Spanish firms like Telefonica and Santander. Now that Spain has no money left, the 2013 race is officially entitled Gran Premio de Espana El Bailiffo.

The main straight at the Circuit de Catalunya is modelled on La Rambla, the famous main street through Barcelona itself. As a result, every driver is relentlessly pestered by mediocre street artists as they pass the pits and when they enter the DRS activation zone they will almost certainly have their wallet stolen.

In 2006 Alain Prost capitalised on the Spanish race’s famous inability to hold the attention by sneaking onto the track in an old Ligier chassis powered by a Peugeot XUD engine he found in a scrapyard. He was able to clatter around for 27 laps before being spotted, shortly after overtaking Jarno Trulli’s Toyota.

Michael Schumacher won the Spanish Grand Prix a record six times. In 2004 this achievement was recognised by Spanish fans who voted to rename turn three as The Shovel Faced Cheating Kraut Bastard Bend.

Spain is the most bigoted race on the Grand Prix calendar. In 2009 Lewis Hamilton famously suffered racist abuse from the Spanish crowd but it was less widely reported that at the same race Rubens Barichello was mocked for appearing to have learning difficulties and Sebastien Buemi was subjected a series of satirical dance routines because his name sounds a bit like the Catalan word for ‘bender’.