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F1: Hamilton favourite to win in Catalunya

F1 - Dan Ricciardo
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

F1 fans are in for a double-dose of action as the field head to Catalunya this weekend following last week's Portuguese Grand Prix.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Spanish Grand Prix
Sunday 9 May
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

To Win Race Outright

Lewis Hamilton 11/10
Max Verstappen 15/10
Valtteri Bottas 13/2
Sergio Perez 9/1
Charles LeClerc 50/1
Lando Norris 50/1
Daniel Ricciardo 66/1

Previous Race

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen continued their early-season battle with the Mercedes ace claiming the win and Verstappen bringing his Red Bull home in second, 29 seconds behind the Brit – although it should be mentioned that the Dutchman pitted late on to try and grab the fastest lap. The duo were joined on the podium by Hamilton’s teammate, Valterri Bottas.

Away from the podium places, and Lando Norris – who has enjoyed a great start to the season – brought his McLaren home in fifth, a place behind the Red Bull of Sergio Perez who claimed fourth, while Ferrari’s Charles LeClerc claimed sixth.

The remainder of the top ten featured Esteban Ocon (seventh), Fernando Alonso (eighth), Daniel Ricciardo – who had a shocking qualifying stint – claimed ninth, while tenth spot went to Pierre Gasly.

Track

The Circuit de Catalunya offers the F1 field a great blend of high and low-speed corners which really tests the reliability of the faster cars on track. While these corners require dexterous braking, they don’t offer much room for overtaking as they are some of the narrowest on the calendar. As such, pole position will be a key factor here.

The weather for this weekend looks rather interesting with sunny skies predicted for the practice and qualifying sessions, while there could well be thunderstorms floating around on Sunday.

Last year’s race was had a very familiar-looking podium with Hamilton taking race honours, Verstappen claiming second and Bottas taking third – don’t count against it looking the same this time around. 

Spain Catalunya Track
Due to how narrow the track is, expect the likes of Hamilton and Verstappen to push hard for Pole with overtaking exceedingly difficult.

Value Bet

Fastest Qualifier – Lewis Hamilton @ 12/10

I will be avoiding the Ricciardo to finish on the podium bet this week and instead have a crack on Lewis Hamilton to claim the fastest qualifier accolade at a decent enough price of 12/10.

Yes, he has not dominated the qualifying sessions like he did last year but the Brit has got one pole position under his belt this term taking the honour at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix a few weeks back. 

To Win Race Outright – Lewis Hamilton @ 11/10

I’m backing the Brit here as well. Again, he’s faced stiff competition from Verstappen this season but he’s won two of the opening three Grand Prix and delivered a solid drive out in Portugal.

Like his qualifying record at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, his win record in Spain is also handy with the Brit claiming victories in the last four races staged at the venue.

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