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Circuit

Jarama - ESP
19/05/2012

The Jarama circuit

At 3850 metres long, the 'Permanent Circuit of Jarama' was Spain's first full-time city circuit. Situated on the outskirts of Madrid and inaugurated in 1967, Jarama's layout has been modified over the years to improve safety.

Narrow and featuring just the one, long, straight, the track is remembered for Gilles Villeneuve holding off a pack of five drivers to guide his Ferrari to a win in 1981 by just 1.5 seconds.

Today Jarama is an enjoyable circuit to drive as it brings out the best in drivers. A lap of the track throws up a number of places where the driver can make the difference but few overtaking spots.

The lengthy start straight leads into the Nuvolari curve, a sort of right-hander chicane that has to be taken in second. This section leads into Fangio and here the driver has to step on the gas. A short sprint and then it is into another right hander where the cars have to ride the inside kerb to build up pace for the Le Mans hairpin.

This left hand curve has two apexes with the second a late one so that the cars have to cover the fewest possible metres before straightening up for the Farina hairpin, a tighter and more conventional hairpin than Le Mans.

On the way out drivers have to accelerate hard to take Pegaso flat out. This left hander leads to an uphill before Ascari, a fast 'S' that is a taster for the tricky Portago curve.

This is another point where drivers have to hold off from anticipating the apex so that they get the most benefit from the downhill exit that ends in the Bugatti hairpin. This is where the car's brakes earn their money while the uneven surface means the driver has to call on all his ability to stay in control of things.

Exiting, the track veers upwards towards the Monza curve, a raised right hander that delivers drivers into the final curve: la Tùnel. From there it is back onto the start-finish straight.

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