The 2019 Formula 1 season started a couple of months ago, but Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix from Barcelona marks the circuit’s start of the European season. To little surprise, Lewis Hamilton is the F1 odds favorite because the Brit is favored in just about every race.
2019 F1 Spanish Grand Prix Betting Lines, Preview & Prediction
- When: Sunday, 9:10 AM ET
- Where: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
- TV: ESPN2
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
This will be the 60th Spanish Grand Prix, with the first held in 1913. After this first race, the track fell into financial difficulties, and the organizers had to look for another venue. The Spanish Grand Prix was first run as part of the Formula 1 World Championship in 1951 in Pedralbes. Starting in 2013, this race was to alternate every year between Catalunya and the Valencia Street Circuit, but Valencia dropped out for financial reasons and Catalunya remained the sole host. The race is 66 laps on the 2.829-mile circuit. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was built as part of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics development.
Ferrari has won the race a record 13 times, last in 2013. The legendary Michael Schumacher has won it the most times individual with six. It is possible this weekend’s race in Barcelona could be the last in the country for a while because there are rumors the Dutch Grand Prix could replace Spain on the Formula 1 calendar in 2020.
Hamilton One To Beat
The Spanish Grand Prix is traditionally the setting for F1 teams to bring the major updates they’ve been working on early in the season in a bid to make a jump forward in performance with their new cars. The proximity to the teams’ bases around Europe means it is targeted as a race to bring the first big update.
Hamilton is simply the most dominant driver in the world and has won the Spanish Grand Prix each of the past two years – he also won in 2014. He’s a +135 favorite. Thus, on Sunday the Brit can join Schumacher as the only drivers to win it at least four times. Last year, Hamilton started on the pole and dominated from start to finish at the Circuit de Catalunya. The Briton’s dominance never looked in question as he and his teammate Valtteri Bottas completed a Mercedes one-two.
Sebastian Vettel looked set to finish second behind Hamilton, but Ferrari’s gamble to pit him for a second time backfired with Bottas following Hamilton home. Ferrari took the chance to stop Vettel in fear that his tires would not last the course, but he was stationary for more than five seconds which allowed Bottas, who did not stop, and also Max Verstappen to move ahead of the Ferrari man. It was a mistake which cost the German dearly. Verstappen completed the podium positions, despite damaging his front wing after crashing into the back of Sergey Sirotkin’s Williams.
“Once I got going after a good start no one had the pace to keep up with me. I was pulling away more than a second a lap,” Hamilton said after.
Hamilton has been on pole here for the past three years, and in 2014 too. His former Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, established Mercedes’ pole position streak at the track in 2013, with the Silver Arrows having taken every pole on the grid since then, as well as locking out the front row at every race here but one from 2013 onwards. A total of 25 of the past 28 races here have been won from the front row.
Mercedes set a new record of four consecutive one-twos at the start of a season as pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas claimed his fifth career win in the last F1 race at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix ahead of teammate Hamilton. Just one point separates Bottas (+250 this week) and Hamilton in the drivers’ championship, with the resurgent Finn benefiting from the fastest lap point gained at the opening race in Australia.
Vettel (+350) may not have a great win record in Barcelona – just one here in 2011, despite all those years of Red Bull domination elsewhere – but he’s been good at getting on the podium here, having been second or third four times, the same as Hamilton. Four straight defeats to Mercedes has left Ferrari 74 points adrift in the constructors’ championship while Vettel is 35 points shy in the drivers’ standings. Even with 17 races remaining, those numbers are big, especially as Mercedes has shown few weaknesses.
Passing may be difficult on a course so well-known to the teams, yet between 2007-2016 the race delivered 10 different winners. A highlight of that run was Max Verstappen (+1200) becoming the youngest winner in F1 history with his first career triumph in 2016 at the age of 18 years, seven months and 15 days.
Expert Final Prediction for 2019 F1 Spanish Grand Prix
Can’t go against Hamilton, but Charles Leclerc finishes a surprising second.
Last 10 Spanish Grand Prix Winners
- 2018: Lewis Hamilton
- 2017: Lewis Hamilton
- 2016: Max Verstappen
- 2015: Nico Rosberg
- 2014: Lewis Hamilton
- 2013: Fernando Alonso
- 2012: Pastor Maldonado
- 2011: Sebastian Vettel
- 2010: Mark Webber
- 2009: Jenson Button