Formula One is back in Europe as Max Verstappen aims to string together three straight victories for the first time since the Austrian Grand Prix in July last year.
Fernando Alonso will be determined to put on a show for his home crowd after struggling to fire up his Alpine in 2022. The two-time world champion is 22 points back from team-mate Esteban Ocon with his solitary points finish coming in the season opener in Bahrain (P9).
It will also mark a return to home soil for Carlos Sainz, who recovered from a heavy crash in FP2 to finish third in Miami after consecutive DNFs. Sainz shared the podium with team-mate Charles Leclerc for the third time in five races, and Ferrari have reason to be upbeat heading into Barcelona.
There is hope too in the garages of both Mercedes and McLaren, with updates expected to give them a shot in the arm as they target significant hauls this weekend.
Spanish Grand Prix Latest Outright Odds
All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (13:30, 19/05/2022). 18+ BeGambleAware.
Charles Leclerc to win and have the fastest lap (3/1)
Red Bull look to be on a title trajectory after seeing off reliability issues which hampered them in the opening rounds. However, Charles Leclerc remains at the top of the pile by 19 points heading into Barcelona and Ferrari are set to bring their first major update in a bid to wrestle back the initiative.
The Prancing Horses were down on their rivals in both tyre degradation and straight line speed in Miami, but their Spain package should help them make up ground at a circuit which suits the F1-75 better. The sunny outlook should also play into Ferrari’s hands. If Leclerc can put his crash at the Monaco Historic behind him, there’s every chance he can extend his championship lead over Max Verstappen come Sunday.
Both Mercedes, Both Ferraris and Both Red Bulls to finish in the points (5/1)
There have only been two DNFs at the the Circuit de Barcelona in the last two seasons (both electrical faults), and if Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes can get their cars to the chequered flag you’d imagine all six drivers will finish in the points.
Mercedes offered something resembling progress in Miami, rubber-stamping theirs as the third-best package on the grid as things stand. Throw in this weekend’s anticipated updates to the W13 and they could haul themselves closer to the title fight and away from the midfield.
A mature battle at the top of the field means we’re unlikely to see a repeat of the double DNF collisions which injected some juice into the title battle last season. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz will be determined to kick on and rediscover the consistency which saw him cross the line at 31 consecutive Grands Prix before his crash at Albert Park.
Sebastian Vettel points finish (3/1)
Fresh off the Question Time panel, Sebastian Vettel arrives in Barcelona aiming to put a miserable start to the season behind him. Both Aston Martin drivers will reportedly be running a B-Spec AMR22 in Spain, with the big changes expected to deliver significant gains for Aston Martin.
Vettel has scored four of the team’s six points so far this season — securing a P8 at Imola — despite missing two races after returning a positive Covid test earlier in 2022. The German was also on course for points in Miami before a clumsy collision with compatriot Mick Schumacher late in the race cost both a place in the top 10.
It is thought Aston Martin are among the teams who will benefit most from shedding weight as they look for progress which can propel them up the Constructor Standings and allow the team to fight for points on a consistent basis.