F1: Spanish Grand Prix Preview
Another three week break has passed and the European leg of the Formula One season is now here and kicks off with the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. As it’s been so long, I’ll do a quick recap of the Bahrain Grand Prix before looking forward to the weekend.
Bahrain F1 Recap
Looking at the result, you could be forgiven for assuming Bahrain was a dull Grand Prix with a comfortable gap between the podium places although it was anything but. An early DRS problem meant that Alonso had to pit twice on successive laps which saw him adrift at the back of the field without the possibility of using DRS for the rest of the race. After Rosberg had put himself on pole position, both he and Lewis Hamilton seemed to have no pace and fell through the field as Vettel made it look easy and always looked comfortable at the front. The race came alive with many drivers on different strategies and more overtakes than you could possibly count including some extremely close action between Jenson Button and Sergio Perez.
Aside from Sebastian Vettel who won the race comfortably, two drives stood out for me and they were the already mentioned Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. After seemingly going backwards and then being anonymous for the first two stints, Hamilton really seemed to be able to switch the prime tyre on and make up places for a fifth placed finish while Rosberg struggled and ended up needing a fourth pit stop to make it to the end. Fernando Alonso’s race was over by the first round of pit stops or so it seemed but he really doesn’t quit and still managed to rescue eighth place and four precious points which could prove vital at the end of the season. With many passes being made in the DRS zones, Alonso was able to make his numerous overtakes without the overtaking aid and show everyone that with a decent car and top driver, no help is required!
Barcelona Grand Prix Preview
Barcelona last year saw the shock result of the season with Pastor Maldonado taking the victory that even he could not have imagined. The race may had been different if Lewis Hamilton did not get disqualified for having too little fuel in his car during qualifying as he was on another level to every other driver in qualification. With the three week break, all teams will have major upgrades to evaluate and have an eye on what step forwards the other teams have made. McLaren need to make a huge step to even begin to trouble Red Bull, Lotus and Ferrari but early signs from Friday practice don’t look good so it could be a long weekend for Jenson and Sergio.
Paul Di Resta suffered a tyre de-lamination in free practice which has the drivers a little worried. The de-lamination Lewis Hamilton suffered in Bahrain was put down to the extreme heat but with much cooler temperatures in Barcelona, Pirelli have yet to offer a reason but hopefully that will be the last one we see.
Despite being off the pace here last season, I think we can expect a strong Red Bull showing with Lotus maintaining their current form as well. Fernando Alonso is bound to have some luck and what better place than his home Grand Prix so that is where my money would go for Sunday.
Barcelona F1 Predictions
- Fernando Alonso
- Sebastian Vettel
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Felipe Massa
- Lewis Hamilton
Nothing outrageous in those predictions but obviously Webber and Rosberg should be in contention and the McLaren upgrades could be better than expected. With Paul Di Resta narrowly missing out on a podium in Bahrain, Force India will also be hoping to stick with the top teams which is a real possibility.
The Spanish Grand Prix is live on the BBC this weekend and here are the times you need:
Qualifying – Green light – 13:00
BBC 1 – 12:10 – 14:15
Sky F1 – 12:00 – 14:55
Race – Lights out – 13:00
BBC 1 – 12:10 – 15:15
Sky F1 – 11:30 – 16:00
Agree, don’t agree? Let me know below!