After the debut of the Miami Grand Prix, this weekend will mark an F1 return to Europe with the Pirelli Spanish Grand Prix as the 2022 season moves into its sixth race.
After five races, Ferrari remains atop the 2022 Constructor Standings with Red Bull in second, trailing by just six points. Mercedes remains a fair bit behind in third and trailing Red Bull by 56 points. Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton also continues to struggle and sits in 6th in the Drivers Standings while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc leads, continuing to hold a narrow lead over second-place Max Verstappen, who has won every race he has finished this season.
The rest of the top five is Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, Mercedes’ George Russell, and Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz. McClaren’s Lando Norris also sits just behind Hamilton in 7th place.
Although the Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya is not a new track, this is the first time since 2014 that the teams were not able to do pre-season testing in Barcelona, so nobody has seen their cars perform on this track yet. That’s notable because they have made a change to the track since last year.
Turn 1o was modified and made slightly wider in order to ensure driver safety. That will also shorten the breaking zone and make the turn a little faster than we’ve seen it in the past.
The track is also historically demanding for the cars because of the layout and also the temperature. The race being held in June will make it cooler, but the drivers usually utilize hard tires and make more than one pit stop, which differs from other tracks.
Since Barcelona is also “renowned for being a track where it’s quite difficult to overtake,” only Verstappen, Fernando Alonso (in 2013), and Michael Schumacher (in 1996) have won from outside a top-two position at this track. As a result, qualifying position and strategy will be extra important as the drivers fight for all important points.
A final key to the outcome of the Spanish Grand Prix is the fact that teams are now able to push new upgrades to their cars. This is the first season of these new regulations, which will give teams an opportunity to make up for any deficiencies they may be facing right now, and reports are that a few teams will bring upgrades to Barcelona.
Spanish Grand Prix TV, how to watch
- Date: Saturday, May 21st
- Time: 10:00 a.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
- Date: Sunday, May 22nd
- Time: 9:00 a.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
For more F1 Coverage, visit TailgateSports.com
2022 Spanish Grand Prix Odds
|Driver||Odds to Win||Top 6 Finish||Top 10 Finish|
|Carlos Sainz Jr.||+1100||-360||-450|
Odds for Spanish Grand Prix courtesy of DraftKings. For more, click here.
Spanish Grand Prix Top Picks
Max Verstappen to win (+100)
Last year’s champion has won every race that he’s finished this year, including the last two Grand Prix. He’s driving at an exceptional level this year and with the track in Barcelona being one where it’s notoriously hard to pass, Verstappen’s speed and aggressive approach should put him over the top again.
Valtteri Bottas to finish top six (+110)
Alfa Romeo brought upgrades to their car to Imola in Italy and saw immediate results over the past two races; although, largely just with Bottas. The car looked quicker than many of the other competitors and makes Bottas a real threat this weekend, if he can avoid any collisions or mistakes. So far this season, he has yet to finish below 8th, and he does have two top-six finishes in the four races he has been able to finish.
Spanish Grand Prix Darkhorse Picks
Double-Points Finish for McLaren (+150)
A double-points finish would imply that both Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finished in the top-10. With the way Norris has been driving, him finishing top-10 would seem to be a lock unless he were to get involved in an accident. The mercurial Ricciardo is the biggest question mark.
However, McLaren has made improvements on their car over the recent weeks, upgrading the brake ducts which they claim were causing severe cooling issues with the car. Since McLaren has never had questions about its speed, the overall performance improvements for the car (driven by two strong drivers) should lead to a solid weekend.
Carlos Sainz to win (+1100)
Obviously, by the odds you can tell just how long of a longshot this is. Maybe I’m a little sentimental, but the Spaniard having his first-ever race win at the Spanish Grand Prix does seem like quite the story. However, Sainz has been driving well this season, finishing P2, P3, and P3 when he has been able to finish. The Ferrari is fast enough that Sainz could qualify in the front row or in P3. Since very few drivers ever win in Barcelona without being outside the top two, a strong qualifying run could put him in good shape for the upset.