Changes to the Circuit de Catalunya track have been approved by both chief safety officers for the FIA, Charlie Whiting, and the FIM, Franco Uncini, to ensure the alterations will see Formula 1 and MotoGP return to circuit in 2018.

While the Catalan circuit underwent a full track resurfacing, key changes were made to turn 13 of the MotoGP layout to increase safety standards. The circuit which hosts both the F1 Spanish Grand Prix and Catalan MotoGP rounds underwent temporary changes following the tragic death of Luis Salom in 2016 which included using the F1 chicane layout in the final sector.

Last year a new MotoGP chicane was created but it was met by criticisms which forced a return to the F1 chicane halfway through the race weekend in June.

The new developments have seen an extended run-off area at turn 13 of the MotoGP layout which required demolition of two sections of a grandstand with another relocated. The run-off area will be filled with gravel and from the braking point it will provide an extra 20 metres of run-off space.

The track changes have altered the circuit layout by 28 metres to 4.627km with turn 10 using the smaller F1 corner at La Caixa which was already used in 2016 and 2017.

In a statement released by Circuit de Catalunya, the circuit resurfacing and run-off area changes have been completed on schedule and after assessment by the FIA’s Whiting and the FIM’s Uncini the circuit has met the safety requirements of both governing bodies.

“Whiting and Uncini have expressed their gratitude for the performed actions and have congratulated the circuit for the work done, the aim of which was to find a balance between both race disciplines,” a Circuit de Catalunya statement confirmed. “Now that the representatives of both federations have expressed their satisfaction the Catalan racetrack gets ready to resume the activity on the track on Saturday.

“The works that forced to stop all track activity during January are coming to an end with the finishing touches: the installation of timing antennas, restitution of green areas, painting of kerbs and white lines.”

F1 begins its 2018 campaign with two pre-season tests at Circuit de Catalunya on the 26th February–1st March and 6th March–9th March, with MotoGP set for an in-season test in late May. The F1 Spanish Grand Prix is scheduled for the 13th May with the Catalan MotoGP set to take place on the 17th June.

 

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