The corner has been remodelled in time for this year’s race as part of safety improvements made in conjunction with the FIA and MotoGP’s governing body, FIM.

Barcelona has abandoned the tight sharp left turn that was introduced in 2004 in favour of a more gentle sweep that resembles the original corner layout used when F1 first visited the circuit in 1991.

Several drivers had a look at the revamped Turn 10 during their track walks on Thursday, before they get to grips with the corner behind the wheels of their cars for the first time in practice on Friday.

There was a mixed response to the changes and difference in opinion as to whether the modified corner will help improve the racing.

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas said he was happy to see the changes after admitting that Turn 10 was “never my strongest corner”.

“I don’t mind at all that it’s new,” the Finn added. “Hopefully it’s one less problem.

“But I don’t know really. I’m going to walk the track tonight and have have a proper look. I’m not sure it’s going to change that much. I will find out.”

Returning two-time world champion Fernando Alonso - who is preparing for his first home race since 2018 and has raced on both previous versions of the corner - does not believe it will make much of a difference.

“I don’t think it will change much, honestly,” he said. “It was there anyway in the past, so sometimes even if you brake a little bit late into 10, you take that run off area and you rejoin the track in 12.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a huge impact on the lap time, on the setups, or the overtaking possibilities. I think it’s pretty similar. It should be transparent I think from the outside, to the spectator's point of view.”

Meanwhile, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is concerned that the new Turn 10 could make overtaking opportunities even harder to come by.

“I’m not so sure,” he said. “I’m pretty sure that there will be different lines there and that will be a bit better to follow.

“But I also feel that Turn 10 was an opportunity to overtake so I don’t know. I think there will be less overtaking in Turn 10 but if then it helps us to follow closer for overtaking before turn one, then that’s great. But I think we’ll have to try before commenting on that.”

His teammate Carlos Sainz shared a similar view, adding: "In the past at Turn 10, it was always difficult to follow a car in front, just because there was only one line.

“There’s a strong point that maybe having a wider line, you can maybe place your car a bit differently to the car in front and get a bit more clean air.

“At the same time, it’s a higher-speed corner, we will feel a bit more the downforce loss if we follow. One thing might compensate the other but let’s see. We’ll try it first and then our comments on Friday.”

However, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly is hopeful the change can bring about positives and help improve racing.

“Clearly I think there will be slightly more lines possible out of Turn 10,” the Frenchman explained. “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, give us a bit more opportunities in terms of racing.

“In terms of driving it’s obviously a bit more open, a bit faster corner. Let’s see how it goes this weekend.”

 

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