A Mercedes car has started each of the last four editions of the Spanish Grand Prix from pole position and one thinks that the team is justifiably odds on to supply this year’s pole sitter at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Nico Rosberg (2013 and 2015) and Lewis Hamilton (2014 and 2016) secured Spanish Grand Prix pole positions for Mercedes but only twice did the fastest qualifier win the race. The Spanish Grand Prix is the subject of a remarkable Formula One statistic – 10 different drivers have won its last 10 renewals. With new Mercedes star Valtteri Bottas seeking a race-to-race double, bookmakers are not offering massive odds about that streak extending to 11 drivers in 11 years.
The Spanish Grand Prix ought to be one of the easiest races of the Formula One season to analyse because the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is where most marques conduct their winter testing. But the Spanish Grand Prix is the first genuine European race on the Formula One calendar and its geographical and chronological location means that it is when most teams implement their first major upgrades.
One can summarise the opening four rounds of the Formula One season thus: Mercedes has been quicker than Ferrari on Saturdays and Ferrari has been quicker than Mercedes on Sundays. One is expecting Mercedes to take a big step forward during the Spanish Grand Prix, with the Silver Arrows tipped to unveil a lighter chassis which would translate directly into faster lap times.
Bwin and Coral are offering odds of -161 that a Mercedes car occupies pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix and that is one’s idea of the best bet on the event. Dutching Bottas and Hamilton does not produce bigger odds than -161 and one does not want to choose between the Mercedes drivers. Bottas will have derived a lot of confidence from his Russian Grand Prix victory and he has performed capably at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya previously, comprehensively beating his then teammates in each of the last three editions of the Spanish Grand Prix. Hamilton did not dominate Rosberg at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya before the reigning Formula One champion retired so, if anything, the gap in the odds available for Bottas and Hamilton should be much smaller.
With regards to Spanish Grand Prix match bets, one is keen on backing Carlos Sainz to get the better of Daniil Kyvat, an option that is available at odds of -182 with Bwin.
Sainz has finished ahead of Kyvat in three of this term’s four Formula One races – eighth versus 10th in Australia, seventh versus retired in China and 10th versus 12th in Russia. Last season, Sainz outperformed Kyvat in 11 of their 17 Formula One qualifying duels as Toro Rosso colleagues and the Spaniard had a 12-2-3 race record against the Russian.
Kyvat will struggle to maintain a seat in Formula One unless he lifts his game in the coming rounds and, certainly, there does not appear to be a way back to a top marque for the Russian whom Red Bull relegated to Toro Rosso 12 months ago. Sainz, the son of legendary rally driver Carlos, will have most of the Spanish Grand Prix crowd cheering for him, not least because the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya patrons cannot expect Fernando Alonso to excel in his McLaren.
Mercedes to secure pole position
Qualifying – Saturday 13th May, 13:00 GMT
Sainz to beat Kyvat – Spanish Grand Prix
Sunday 14th May, 13:00 GMT