Most Formula One teams are making noises that they will make up ground on Mercedes when the Spanish Grand Prix kicks off the first European leg of the program but surely the Silver Arrows are just as open to improvement as their rivals.
Mercedes dominated last year’s Spanish Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg qualified more than eight-tenths of a second faster than any other driver and no-one finished the race within 40 seconds of either Silver Arrows star – and the champion Formula One constructor has won three of this year’s four races, with the exception being the Singapore Grand Prix in tactics played a key role.
The Spanish Grand Prix was one of the most dominant Formula One races for Mercedes in 2014 and, with Hamilton appearing to have the number of his teammate, one is keen to back the British driver to do what he has done three times this season – win the race from pole position, a bet that is available at odds of -149 with PaddyPower and SkyBet.
Hamilton has been the fastest qualifier for each of this year’s four Formula One races – on two of those occasions his time has been more than four-tenths of a second quicker than any other driver, including Rosberg – and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is not one of the easiest on which to overtake. If you want a statistic that backs up that opinion then try this one for size – 18 of the 24 Spanish Grand Prix editions staged at the venue have been won by pole sitters, which is the highest pole-to-win ratio in the competition.
A good start is critical to Spanish Grand Prix success and not just before overtaking is difficult. The run from pole position to the apex of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya’s first turn is the longest in Formula One, with drivers doing all sorts of things during this 730-metre dash to get the best possible early position. Often there is drama at the first turn, drama that a pole sitter who makes a perfect start has a very good chance of avoiding. Whoever occupies pole position has a great shot at taking out the Spanish Grand Prix, hence why one likes the Hamilton exotic.
Of the non-Mercedes teams talking up their Spanish Grand Prix prospects the outfit in which one is most interested is Red Bull because, quite frankly, it is not going to settle for being a Formula One also-ran ad infinitum. Red Bull’s design crew, led by the brilliant Adrian Newey, has been working around the clock to put better machinery in the hands of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat and one would have to be a brave punter to bet against Newey and company.
The secondary Spanish Grand Prix that piques one’s interest is Daniil Kvyat to finish in the points at odds of +105 with Bwin. Kvyat did not start the Australian Grand Prix because of gearbox issues and he retired from the Chinese Grand Prix when the engine in his Red Bull car began to smoke. But Kvyat has placed in ninth in this year’s two other Formula One races – the Malaysian Grand Prix and the Bahrain Grand Prix – so one thinks that his top-10 odds should be a shade of odds on rather than a shade of odds against, especially if one believes that Red Bull will start getting its act together from the Spanish Grand Prix onwards. A fair price about Kvyat earning some Spanish Grand Prix points – it is worth noting that Ricciardo has yet to finish lower than 10th – would be around -125 so snap up the odds against.
Daniil Kvyat to finish in the points
Where to Bet: Bwin
Once or twice per month we will provide you with the latest sports tips and keep you updated about the biggest events.