Drivers offer mixed reactions to Barcelona Turn 10 changes

Several drivers offered an early verdict on the new configuration of Barcelona’s Turn 10, differing on whether the widened corner will promote overtaking or not.

The former left-hand ‘La Caixa’ near hairpin that had been part of the Circuit de Catalunya’s layout since 2004 has been altered and redrawn with a wider arc, a change that provides a larger run-off area, thus improving safety.

But the widened configuration implies a higher entry speed into the corner, which in turn could limit overtaking opportunities at Turn 10.

Despite the changes, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly doesn’t believe the modification has significantly lengthened the track’s back straight.

“Honestly, I don’t have the answer now because we haven’t tried it yet, but it doesn’t make the straight line a lot longer,” said the Frenchman.

“Clearly, I think there will be slightly more lines possible out of Turn 10, so I do hope racing improves, and it gives us the opportunity to put a bit of pressure on braking and maybe try something different on exit and overtake.

“[That would] give us a bit more opportunities in terms of racing, but in terms of driving, yeah, it’s mostly a bit more open, a bit faster corner.”

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz agreed that drivers could follow different lines through the revised.

“In the past, Turn 10 was obviously very difficult to follow a car in front [through] – just because there was only one line,” commented the Spaniard.

“There is a strong point [about the changes] – that maybe having a wider line [now], you can maybe place your car a bit differently compared to a car in front and get a bit more clean air.

“But, at the same time, it’s a higher speed corner, [where] we will feel the downforce loss if we follow. One thing might compensate the other.”

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Sainz’s teammate Charles Leclerc felt the alteration and faster entry is likely to limit overtaking, although the changes could have a bearing on the action further down the road at Turn 1.

“I mean, I’m pretty sure that there will be different lines there and that should be a bit better to follow, but I also feel that Turn 10 was an opportunity to overtake, so I don’t know,” said the Monegasque.

“I think there will be less overtaking in Turn 10, but if then it helps us to follow closer for overtaking before Turn 1, then that’s great.”

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso reckons the changes will have little impact on the racing overall.

“Honestly, the corner was there anyway in the past,” he said. So sometimes, if you braked a little bit late into 10, you take that runoff area and you re-joined the track in 12.

“So, I don’t that it’s going to be a huge impact on the laptime, on the set-ups, on the overtaking possibilities – I think it’s pretty similar.

“It should be quite transparent from outside or from the spectators’ point of view.”

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