From gear changes to corner speeds, and tips for our gaming community, our track guide is the home of F1 geekery.
|Track length||4.655km/2.892 miles (14th longest track of the year – longest: Spa-Francorchamps, shortest: Monaco)|
|2016 pole position||Lewis Hamilton 1m22.000s|
|2016 fastest lap||Daniil Kvyat 1m26.948s (lap 53)|
|Lap record||1:21.670s (Kimi Räikkönen, 2008)|
|Distance to Turn One||730m/0.454 miles (longest of season)|
|Longest straight||1.047km/0.651 miles (longest of the season: China, 1.17km/0.727 miles)|
|Top speed||335 km/h/208 mph, on the approach to Turn One (fastest of season: Monza, 350km/h/217mph)|
|Full throttle||65 per cent (highest of the season: Monda, 75 per cent)|
|Fuel consumption||11.7kg per lap, which is average|
|Gear changes||44 per lap/2,904 per race|
Balancing the different requirements of the lap. Sectors One and Two are relatively fast, particularly the right-handers at Turns Three and Nine, whereas Sector Three is slow and time-consuming. It’s important to keep the tyres alive until the end of the lap.
How to tell when a driver's really on it
There are two signs. First, the way they hit the inside kerb at Turn One to negate any understeer; second, they will under-rotate their front-left wheel under braking for Turn Five, but they won’t lock up.
Trickiest bits for the driver
Keeping the tyres alive for the duration of the lap. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a demanding track on tyres; the fast corners in Sectors One and Two punish the left-front tyre in particular, but it’s vital to keep the tyres alive for the slow corners in Sector three.
Maximum downforce. Despite the predominance of fast corners and the long pit straight, the fastest lap times are achieved by cranking on the downforce. That allows the drivers to carry momentum through the fast corners, while also providing them with maximum downforce through the slower corners at the end of the lap.
High. The asphalt is old, cracked and abrasive, which is why Pirelli takes its three hardest compounds to the race.
Yellow Soft, white Medium and orange Hard – the first time this combination has been used in 2017.
High. There are seven braking zones, where the cars will be slowing from more than 230km/h (143mph). The extra weight this year – minimum, including driver, is 722kg – will add to wear rates over a race distance.
Medium. There are eight braking events around the lap, but only two big stops, into Turns One and 10.
Tips if you're a gamer
Don’t become obsessed with taking Turn Three flat-out. The increased levels of downforce this year make a possibility, but compromise is the key to a good lap. If you take Turn Three, a long right-hander, flat-out, then you’ll struggle to keep the tyres alive for Sector Three, which is very twisty and where mechanical grip is important. An asymmetrical car set-up can help tyre life, but intelligent driving is crucial too, even in qualifying.