The Formula 1 returns to a Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya that will receive 1,000 spectators with the presence of two Spanish riders, Fernando Alonso (Alpine) and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), something that it hadn’t happened since the 2018 season, when precisely the Asturian and the Madrilenian also coincided.
In that Spanish Grand Prix, Sainz was seventh in a Renault and Alonso, eighth in a McLaren. The last triumph of a Spanish rider at the Circuit dates from 2013, when Alonso himself, on that occasion driving a Ferrari, came back from fifth on the grid to win the final victory. It was his last triumph in F1 and no compatriot has taken over from him.
This season the options of Spanish triumph also seem utopian. The best position in the first three races was Sainz’s fifth at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. For his part, Alonso got an eighth in Portugal, last weekend at the Portimao Circuit, after starting from thirteenth place.
“Other seasons, if you did quite well with a middle class car, the usual thing was that you would finish between ninth and eleventh position. But this year the middle class is tighter and you can finish seventh if you drive perfectly or fifteenth if not. you achieve perfection, “Alonso, twelfth overall, explained this week in an interview with EFE.
For his part, Carlos Sainz, in another recent interview with this agency, said that “the podium can come in any race.”
The calculations for the eighth overall are clear: “If the front four fail and you are the first of the rest, which is our intention to be there, just behind Mercedes and Red Bull this year, we can catch a podium.”
The great favorite to win the Spanish Grand Prix is once again the English Lewis hamilton (Mercedes), winner in the last four visits, and who won in two of the first three races of the course, Bahrain and Portugal, allowing him to lead the classification with 69 points.
If Hamilton achieved his fifth victory in a row on the Barcelona track, he would become the first driver in history to achieve it in the Spanish Grand Prix and thus break the tie with the German Michael Schumacher, whom he would also reach in the number of total victories: six.
But this year the fight for the top positions is more even than in other years, and Hamilton, winner of six of the last seven championships, will have a more difficult time getting his fifth consecutive title.
Mostly because of Max verstappen (Red Bull), precisely the last to win at Montmeló before Hamilton’s four consecutive victories. The Dutch driver is second in the World Championship standings, with 61 points, after his triumph in Imola and his second places in Sakhir and Portimao.
Attentive to the errors of the two giants will be the British pilot Lando norris (McLaren), third overall with 37 points, and the squires of Hamilton and Verstappen, the Finn Valteri Bottas (Mercedes) and the Mexican Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez (Red Bull), who has just achieved his best result in Portugal in the season, a fourth place, and is sixth overall with 22 points.
This same week it was announced that in the Spanish Grand Prix can finally have 1,000 spectators, all of them subscribers to the circuit and who will be located in the Main Grandstand of the finish line. But they will only be allowed to access the race on Sunday, May 9, the day that the State of Alarm in Spain ends.
The Grand Prix comes in the last year of the Montmeló circuit’s contract with Liberty Media to host F1. But those responsible for the Catalan route, as they have explained on different occasions, are optimistic about expanding the alliance for many more years.