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Spanish GP Preview | Can anyone hold off Red Bull from another win?

Spanish GP Preview | Can anyone hold off Red Bull from another win?

1 June - 06:00 Last update: 08:38


Formula 1 can currently be summed up in one sentence: 'Will it be Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez after all?' Seven Grands Prix completed this season, seven times Red Bull Racing was (by far) the strongest. For fans of teams other than Red Bull, it looks to be tricky next weekend too, as for the Spanish Grand Prix, the Austrian team is again the big favourite.

A whopping 613 metres is the run-up to the first corner at the Circuit de Catalunya. That is the distance the competition will have to travel to see the race (probably) not turn into a Red Bull party from the start. Indeed, after the last chicane before the straight disappeared this year, the track is even better suited to the Bulls (although so far there has been no circuit where the Austrians have had insurmountable problems). In terms of top speed - and especially with the DRS open - Red Bull is, on paper, unbeatable in Spain.

Barcelona not in Alonso's favour

Of course, the race always still has to be run and a surprise is always possible (see Perez's slide during qualifying in Monaco), but the Aston Martin's strength normally shows up more difficult in Barcelona. The cars of home favourite Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll are excellent in the slow corners, so removing the chicane will not benefit the team at all.

It will be interesting to see how the updates from Ferrari and Mercedes fare. The latter already used the new floor, sidepods and new front suspension at Monaco, but on this unique street track it is difficult to judge how good (or bad) the updates are. On a more traditional track like Spain, it is easier to tell if it all works as it should. Ferrari just waited until Spain with the drastic updates, and certainly Carlos Sainz wants to show in front of his home crowd that he is once again a factor in his red car.

Tension mainly in midfield

While the tension at the front is often lacking, there is currently a lot of competition in the mid- and backfield. The differences there are small and on a good day, for example, a team like Alpine can shine. See Monaco last weekend for that. Between teams like Alfa Romeo, AlphaTauri, Haas and Williams, the margins are very small. So those who look beyond the 'fight' at the front can probably see drivers battling it out at the sharp end in Barcelona too. Unfortunately, these will not be for the win, but for race fans, this will be enjoyable too.

The Spanish Grand Prix starts at 14:00 on Sunday [UK time]. GPblog will report from the circuit near Barcelona throughout the weekend.