Spanish GP: Race review & F1 Lowdown

apex bite spanish gp f1 review 2023

Hey there, F1 fanatic! 👋

First of all, welcome to the 325 of you who joined us in the last week.

It’s time to dive into another edition of our weekly F1 newsletter and get you up to speed with everything that’s happened since the Spanish GP.

Before we start… We’re striving to make this newsletter better for you. Let us know your opinions on the content by replying to this email or using the poll at the end of the newsletter.

In today’s email:

  1. Speedy Race Review – Detailed information about the latest happenings at the Spanish GP, detailed charts and analysis.
  2. In-depth education: Key actors & components of an F1 season
  3. Fast Lane News – Short news to get you up to speed with the latest F1 updates
  4. The Canada GP – Short update to get you ready for next week


    Let’s get going…

f1 race reviewSPEEDY RACE REVIEW

🏎 Here’s the global racepace after the Spanish GP

  • Mercedes has never been this close to Red Bull this year. Hamilton was 0.31s/lap away from Verstappen’s laptime on average, and he lifted more at the end.
  • Ferrari struggled, but Aston’s pace was even worse! (but more consistent)
  • Just 0.1s between the 6th (STR) and 13th (OCO) fastest!

race page spanish gp 2023

🔴 Ferrari’s new upgrades: all hype, no vroom!

Ferrari thought they had a secret weapon at the Spanish GP with their heavily updated car. Despite starting in a promising position, Carlos Sainz finished a whopping four places and 46 seconds behind the leader, Max Verstappen.

Although the team suffered a very difficult weekend, that’s not necessarily to do with the upgrade.

ferrari upgrades spanish gp 2023

These changes in aerodynamics boils down to Ferrari rethinking their ‘fat’ sidepod design from last year’s F1-75, that sent airflow on a scenic detour around the car before being lured back to the rear ‘coke bottle’ area.

Meanwhile, Red Bull, with the suave undercut sidepods, preferred the ‘stick with me, buddy’ approach, where the airflow stays with the car’s surfaces throughout its journey.

In a battle of airflow management, both teams aim for the same finish line – supercharging the airflow over the diffuser’s walls to boost the car’s underbody suction.

Still, they’ve got different ideas. Ferrari’s recent sidepod slimdown signals their suspicion of ‘airflow detachment,’ a notorious issue that dissipates the flow’s energy.

The positive side is that at least the potential is there, and sooner or later, we will be able to bring it out, better understanding the tires, but we have to do it.

With the updates, I think we have taken a step forward. It was Carlos’s best qualifying here. The important thing is to try to separate what went well from what went wrong. On the car’s potential, we have made progress and managed to establish a development path for the upcoming races. At least today we finished ahead of Aston Martin.

Fred Vasseur for

If correct, this geometry tweak could be the stability secret sauce they’ve been craving. Let’s hope it’s not too late for Ferrari’s ‘wide-to-svelte’ transformation to pay off! – Read more

⚫️ Mercedes’ podium win at Barcelona: part flashy upgrades, part strategic pit stop voodoo!

Mercedes kicked Aston Martin off the second step in the constructors’ championship at Barcelona, with both drivers on the podium. And let’s tip our hats to George Russell, who bolted from P12 to the podium like he found a cheat code.

While everyone’s eyes were on the bling of the Mercedes upgrade package, Bernie Collins, ex-Aston Martin strategist, points out that strategy played a big part too.

Russell, who seems to have a knack for tire whispering, realized mid-race that his soft tyres were aging better than fine wine and convinced his crew to delay the pit stop.

This savvy move turned the race into an episode of “Pimp my Pit Stop Strategy” and helped Russell and Mercedes cash in some serious racing dividends.

Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz of Ferrari could’ve used some of that pit stop magic. His decision to pit early cost him a whopping 8.9 seconds of race time to Russell.

Bottom line? Track position’s great, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s all about that stop lap and tyre selection mojo! – Read more

Yuki Tsunoda is seeing red over what he calls a “ridiculous” and “really unfair” penalty during the Spanish Grand Prix.

Why? He got a five-second slap on the wrist for supposedly forcing Zhou Guanyu off the track, which sent him skidding from 9th to 12th​​.

Zhou had tried to swoosh past Tsunoda at Turn 1, but Tsunoda was like, “Not on my watch!” This resulted in Zhou taking a detour off the track. Tsunoda’s beef? He claims he left room for Zhou, who, according to him, chickened out early and veered off. He’s a bit miffed at being penalized, to say the least​.

Adding to Tsunoda, he wasn’t even given a chance to defend himself, only learning about the penalty after crossing the finish line. – Read more

Fortunately, this was the only incident on track. We’ve had:

  • No yellow flags
  • No Safety Cars or VSC
  • No red flags
  • No retirements

📈 2023 Season Overtakes by Circuit after the SpanishGP

  • At the Spanish GP we’ve had a total of 65 overtakes of which 50 were at Turn 1, mostly with DRS assistance.
  • 42 of these overtakes were shown on live broadcast

f1 race reviewKey actors & components of an F1 season

Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and buckle up, because we’re about to untangle the key actors involved in F1.

We’ll zoom through everything from governing bodies to the Concorde Agreement and the teams themselves. If you’re new to F1 this is exactly what you’ll need to get up to speed.

A fantastic pit crew makes a good F1 car great, and so it is with the motorsport itself.

Let’s begin by introducing you to the top brass, the pivotal trio of FIA, FOM, and Liberty Media, each with a crucial role on this high-speed stage.


f1 race reviewFast Lane News

🔴 Alfa Romeo announce shake-up as James Key takes over Technical Director role – Read more

🛞 Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli looks set to face competition for the official FIA tender contract from 2025 amid suggestions that Bridgestone has made a bid. – Read more

😮‍💨 Stefano Domenicali is pushing to have 12 teams on the F1 grid for 2026. Talks are already underway with potential entrants – the entry fee could be revised to around $1 billion. – Read more(IT)

❌ Plans for a return of the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami to F1’s calendar in 2024 have been terminated, reportedly for political reasons. – Read more

🔵 Christian Horner almost left Red Bull to replace Mattia Binotto at Ferrari last year.

It took me another whole night to convince Horner to stay at Red Bull. And it cost us millions more.

Helmut Marko

🟢 Aston Martin will bring an upgrade to the Canadian Grand Prix but remains confident it is not falling behind rivals in Formula 1’s development war. – Read more

⚫️ For the first time this season, the Mick Schumacher was behind the wheel of the Mercedes W14 courtesy of Pirelli, which is conducting a two-day tyre test at the Circuit de Catalunya. – Read more

💸 Mercedes got slapped with a €10,000 fine for their physios taking a joy walk into the parc ferme area after the race. – Read more

🏎 Restoring Barcelona’s fast final sector was universally applauded by Formula 1 drivers, but it brought on its fair share of problems for the teams. – Read more

f1 race reviewCANADA GP 2023

🇨🇦 Scheduled 16 – 18 JUN

Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montréal


1️⃣ Circuit length: 4.361 km
2️⃣ Number of laps: 70
3️⃣ Lap record: 1:13.078 Valteri Bottas (2019)
4️⃣ Corners & DRS: 13 corners with 2 DRS zones

f1 race reviewMEME OF THE DAY