May 09, 2019
Published on tags: 2019 Superleague Alex Siebel


Reigning series champion and Azerbaijan Grand Prix winner Alex Siebel joins Ewan Gale to preview round five of the WTF1 Superleague at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.
Sector one takes us down the start finish straight into a heavy braking zone for turns one and two - a right-left chicane - before the speed builds constantly around turn three which seems to last forever. The sector split is just before braking at turn four.

Sector two takes us to turn ten's braking area. Four is a tight right hander that opens up on exit as the track runs downhill into the left at five. Six is an insignificant kink before the tricky seven-eight chicane at the bottom of the decline. The tarmac leads up to the fast sweeping right-hander of nine, taken flat out onto the second DRS straight.

The final sector is technical. The hairpin of ten has its traction zone interfered by a seamless kink to the left before a medium speed right hander at the top of the hill. Thirteen is a ninety-degree right that leads into the tight final chicane. The final right-hander at turn 16 leads onto the finish straight t complete a lap at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Here are Alex's key areas for qualifying:

"The exit of turn four is crucial. You can take many different lines through the corner, all with a different outcome. It will be important to find the right spot on the track."

"In sector two, turns 7 and 8 are vital. You need to get as early on throttle as possible [on exit] otherwise you suffer all the way up to turn 10."

"In sector three, turn 13 plays a major role because if you miss the apex there, you compromise your line through turns 14 and 15 and also the exit onto the main straight."

With so many sweeping corners on this undulating track, tyre wear is bound to play a part in the race here:

"Turn 3, 4 and 9 are pretty harsh to the tyres. If you take too much speed through these corners and too much steering input, you end up cooking your tyres. Tyre wear will play a major role in Thursday's race."

After a strong start to the year, the ACR Zakspeed driver insists consistency will be key for the rest of the season:

"This year, the competition is so high that consistency will be the deciding factor. If you stay out of trouble and maximise every result, even when it is just a podium, you will come out on top at the end of the season."

As we start to settle down heading into the middle of the season we can start to see the main differences in the championship between this year and last. Alex believes that qualifying has seen the biggest difference so far:

"Without doubt. This year everyone is so close to each other pace-wise that two tenths of a second decide whether you are 3rd or 20th. That puts you under a lot of pressure because your chances of a good result for the race depends on just those fine margins. Last year it wasn't that tight at all which put you under less pressure in qualifying."

Will the key be qualifying in round five of the WTF1 Superleague? Coverage starts at 7:30PM on Thursday 9th May, with the race start at 8PM.