“Racing has always been a big part of my life. It’s my passion. All the work I put in is to become the best. I am a competitor and will not rest till I get what I am after.”
The Formula One teams are no strangers to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (formerly known as the Circuit de Catalunya); not only have they raced there every year since 1991, they also conduct extensive testing at the venue. Familiarity does not, however, lessen the challenge for car or driver. Barcelona’s mix of high- and low-speed corners, plus its abrasive and rather bumpy track surface, makes for a physically and mechanically taxing race. Tyre wear is particularly high and the varying winds that cut across the circuit mean an optimum set-up can be hard to find.
For spectators Elf corner is among the best places to watch, as it is one of the track’s few overtaking opportunities. For the drivers it is the final two turns, known collectively as New Holland, which provide one of the biggest challenges of the season. A fast exit is essential in order to maximise speed down the start-finish straight into Elf.
The Picasso Museum is one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions. Its collection of the Spanish artist’s work houses is the most extensive in the country and one of the most notable in the world. The city boasts many other museums – the Nou Camp’s Football Museum is a must for soccer fans – and for the best sights, start in the ninth century Old Town and walk, looking out for Gaudi’s architecture, the Gothic Monastery in Pedralbes, the Placa de Catalunya, the Olympic Port and Las Ramblas.
There is everything you could want in Barcelona. As well as the many tourist attractions in the city, you can head to the beach. There is a four-kilometre stretch of coastline within the city limits, most of which is sandy.