Lewis Hamilton would be a perennial sportsbooks favourite to win the Formula One World Championship and would get away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling Germans. If it’s any consolation, at least Sebastian Vettel is not in the same team as the Brit. As it is, the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers are the co-favourites to win the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Barcelona on Sunday.
The British racer won the 2014 Spanish GP and finished second in 2015, but even though he started from pole last year a collision between Hamilton and then-teammate Nico Rosberg on the opening lap caused him to retire from the race. Hamilton had his first finish out of the podium this season in Russia, where his current teammate Valtteri Bottas pulled a Rosberg on him and won the race. Hamilton is second in the World Drivers’ Championship standings.
The Teutonic Terror has pulled the old one-two, one-two. Vettel won Australia and runnered-up China; same with Bahrain and Russia. The four straight podiums made the Ferrari wheelman only the fifth man in history to claim 90 Formula 1 podiums. Four of those podiums have come in Barcelona, including winning the 2011 SPG. Vettel leads the standings 13 points ahead of Hamilton.
The Finn is having arguably his best season since joining Mercedes – perhaps a little too much for sportsbooks fave Hamilton’s taste. Bottas won his first ever Grand Prix in Russia, and finished third in Melbourne as well as at the Bahrain International Circuit. Additionally, Bottas finish fifth in Spain in 2014 and 2016, and fourth in 2015, while still with Williams Martini.
The other Finn is the only active multiple winner of the Spanish Grand Prix, which he claimed in 2005 and 2008. Since then he has finished third in 2012 and second in 2013 and 2016. Raikkonen had the fastest lap in Russia and his first podium of the 2017 season.
The Dutch won his first and so far only F1 Grand Prix in 2016 in Barcelona – and became the youngest driver ever to win a Formula One GP in the process. Verstappen had his third career podium – and first of the season – at the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix.
The 27 year old must be one of the youngest retirees ever, having to retire from both his native-country hosted Australian GP and from Russia. Otherwise, he finished fourth in China and fifth in Bahrain. Ricciardo’s best finish in Barcelona was a third place in 2014.
It’s safe to say that the Brazilian’s mid-to-late 2010s halcyon days are far behind them, having not made a podium since the 2015 edition of the now-defunct Italian Grand Prix. Nevertheless, Massa did win the Spanish GP in 2007.
Our last sportsbooks’ candidate, the Mexican would love nothing more than to pull a reverse Hernan Cortez and conquer Spain – which would be his first F1 GP win.