Confirmed: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya chicane to be removed for Spanish GP

Henry Valantine
George Russell, Williams, at the Barcelona chicane

George Russell, Williams, at the Barcelona chicane

Formula 1 has announced the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will return to its original final-sector layout for the 2023 Spanish GP, removing the final chicane and seeing a faster end to the lap.

This move will see the circuit move down to 14 corners for the lap from 16, and will likely see lap times speed up again by several seconds as the slow chicane makes way for the final sweeping right-hander that preceded it.

The Spanish GP will return to ending the lap with a downhill right-hander that will see the cars enter the final corner, now Turn 14, in the region of 170-180mph before a slight lift that will see them catapult onto the pit straight.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya previously confirmed it has been homologated to FIA standards with or without the final chicane, and leaves it up to the individual series which use the circuit to decide upon the layout.

And after using the chicane from 2007 onwards, the final sector will go back to being a faster proposition for the drivers once again, as was the case when Formula 1 started racing at the circuit when it was completed in 1991.

This announcement comes as part of further changes being made in Barcelona ahead of this year’s Spanish GP, which will include the installation of new TECPRO barriers at the final two corners to account for the increased speeds in that area of the circuit, which will also see the track length reduce by 18 metres overall to 4.657km.

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An increased run-off area will also be in place at the start of the lap at Turn 1, with 70 extra metres of gravel and an increased slope of 5% incline to help slow drivers down, with new fencing being put in place at the opening two corners to protect drivers further.

From a fan experience perspective, a “more modern” signalling system will be put in place at the pit exit and the scoreboard will be remodelled this year, along with permanent toilets in fan areas being refurbished and an extension of corporate hospitality areas.