Spanish Grand Prix Preview : Ferrari To Dominate?

The fifth round of the 2017 Formula One season is the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Sunday 14 May.The season has been dominated by Ferrari and Mercedes thus far, with the former’s Sebastian Vettel claiming two wins, while the latter’s Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have taken one victory apiece. This leaves the German leading the Drivers’ Championship, but the ‘Silver Arrows’ top the Constructors’ log table.Mercedes and Ferrari are expected to continue their dominance, though a raft of new upgrades for all the teams could affect the pecking order. Red Bull, for example, are using this weekend to introduce their ‘B-spec’ chassis in an attempt to narrow the gap to the leading duo. The momentum is very much with Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who claimed his first race win at the Russian GP last month and seems to have come to terms with the Mercedes’ high tyre wear much better than his more experienced teammate Hamilton.Yet Ferrari were much more impressive at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in preseason testing and will expect to have an outright pace advantage. The Italian manufacturer also has good form at the Spanish GP, with a record 12 wins overall (the last of which arrived from Fernando Alonso in 2013). The Spanish GP has tended to throw-up unexpected results in recent years - something of an oddity given that the weather is usually consistently warm and dry, and taking into account that all the drivers know the track so well because it’s used extensively for testing.Last year was a perfect example: the dominant Mercedes pair of Hamilton and eventual world champion Nico Rosberg took each other out early on and Dutch teenager Max Verstappen (in his first race for Red Bull, having replaced the demoted Daniil Kvyat) became the youngest winner in F1 history.Drivers’ Championship top five
  1. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari - 86 points
  2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes - 73
  3. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes - 63
  4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari - 49
  5. Max Verstappen, Red Bull - 35
 Constructors’ Championship top five
  1. Mercedes - 136 points
  2. Ferrari - 135
  3. Red Bull - 57
  4. Force India - 31
  5. Williams - 18
Spanish Grand Prix stats - Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya First held: 1913 Number of F1 races: 58 Most wins, driver: Michael Schumacher (6) Most wins, constructor: Ferrari (12) Circuit length: 4.655 km Race length: 307.104 km Laps: 66 2016 stats Podium: 1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) / 2. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) / 3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) Pole position: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 1:22.000 Fastest lap: Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso), 1:26.948 Last five winners 2016 - Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 2015 - Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 2014 - Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 2013 - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 2012 - Pastor Maldonado (Williams)

Published: 05/12/2017