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Formula 1: 2022 Spanish Grand Prix

We’re going to the Formula 1 Pirelli Gran Premio De Espana 2022, which is a track the drivers are familiar with. Unlike Miami where the drivers had to learn a new track and which we were on the brink of snoozing whilst watching the Miami show (I call it a “show” because it felt more like a race than a race). The race settled quickly after the first few laps and I would have fallen asleep if it wasn’t for the safety car, which was due to the Norris-Galy incident. Instead, I would have probably been woken by the police sirens to make way for the all American podium. Though the race was boring for some drivers, others such as Albon and Vettel had impressive drives through the field. However, I wouldn‚Äôt be too excited about Barcelona’s lack of action-packed race for this weekend. Don’t be discouraged from checking the Best Bookmakers Online before placing your bets!

What’s the deal with F1 and Barcelona?

The circuit De Catalunya has hosted the Spanish Grand Prix for more than 30 years. It hosted the first Grand Prix in 1991 where we saw Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansel, literally wheel-to-wheel drag racing down the straight which eventually saw Mansel winning the race. Overtaking in the cars became more difficult as they grew in size, but the difficulty was not because of their increased size. The cars appear to be moving at an equal speed throughout the race, so they tend to follow each other without much overtaking. DRS gives us the opportunity to overtake in a lunge-style style going into turn 1 and this is the only area where overtaking is likely to occur. Barcelona has hosted pre-season testing for six years so technically speaking, the circuit is well-known with the drivers. The circuit features both fast and slow corners with turn three in particular being a long right-hander that seems to go-on forever. This corner being a test for the balance and agility of any car.

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Is there a clear winner?

There are three possible answers: Probably, arguably, and maybe.¬†It is hard to believe that Formula 1 can sometimes be predictable, especially with circuits like Monaco, Barcelona and now Miami, that’s¬†three consecutive boring races we have to plough through.¬†We have the new regulations though, which should spice things up a bit and If pre-season testing is any indication, then Mercedes will be the clear winner! Okay, Okay let me tone it down a bit.¬†They were the most consistent in terms of laps and positions whilst¬†McLaren and Red Bull also did well.¬†It’s been a two-horse race so far in 2022, with Red Bull accelerating the pace quite literally.¬†Mercedes has done well at the last race, as they achieved their best result in Miami as a team though,¬†onboard footage shows that the Mercedes is still unpredictable and difficult to drive, especially in high speed corners (hello turn three).¬†Though, I don’t want to put them out of the equation for this weekend, but I won’t lie.¬†If my heart is any indication, one of the Spaniards will win.¬†We know Carlos Sainz is an excellent driver and he’s got one the most powerful cars on the grid, we know he can perform, and he’s been a Top 10 finisher and has collected points for each team he raced with here in Barcelona. However, 6th was his best result and he still has hopes to win Formula 1.¬†Fernando Alonso may also be hoping to have a repeat of the two wins that he has achieved here.¬†We shouldn’t forget that Alonso has a very capable car under him and both Alpines have performed quite well with Ocon finishing in the points in five of six races.¬†Although Fernando wasn’t as lucky due to reliability issues, his driving skills are still visible for all to see. I think he will be determined to get a good result at the Grand Prix in his home country.

How about the Red Bulls?

As we have come to learn, the Red Bull is the fastest car in a straight line and with a very long straight heading into turn one, it’s no surprise that Max Verstappen has been positioned as the favorite to win this race by the sportsbooks.¬†Even if anyone else is on pole, it’s almost guaranteed that Max will lunge down into turn one and will get that to work in his favor.¬†Whilst he is the favorite, we must remember the impact of Miami’s warm weather on Sergio Perez and his car. I also want to mention Mattia Binnotto, Ferrari’s principal’s, comment after Miami.¬†Binotto stated that Red Bull is aggressively developing their car, which is consuming the budget caps that have been set by the FIA for every team.¬†Ferrari, in the meantime haven’t really bothered to develop their car much since it’s been so successful from day 1.¬†There are still some significant developments that Ferrari can make that could swing the championships in their favor, but that’s unless Mercedes has anything to say about it.

What’s the conclusion?

It’s almost without a doubt that this race will be won by Pole, unless Max is in P2 or P3 and will make a lunge early on in the race.¬†There have been very few changes to the order of the races in this hybrid v6 era in terms of qualifying positions and race finishing positions.¬†You can get a better idea of who has the advantage in this race by watching the practice sessions.¬†Qualifying will also be interesting, so make sure you watch it and check if your sportsbook offers markets on qualifying, and if it does Max, Charles and Carlos are your picks.¬†Grand Prix racing is more like a marathon.¬†Long distance runners will maintain their pace throughout the race. They’ll pick up speed towards the end to gain as many places as possible.¬†This analogy fits Ferrari’s 2022 plans well, I believe.

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