This year’s race is especially important for Ferrari who must deliver on the potential it has hinted at in the opening races. Have they really closed the gap to MercedesAMG?
The Big Q: Can Lewis Hamilton disrupt teammate Nico Rosberg’s perfect start to the season?
Team to watch: Ferrari
There is nowhere for The Scuderia to hide this weekend. The Circuit de Catalunya is a litmus test for the rest of the season, if quick in Spain should be quick everywhere now.
The Key observations, as follows
- The Ferrar SF16-H is a major departure from its predecessors aerodynamically and mechanically, and the Team should reap the benefits from those changes at this track.
- The Big Q: What would constitute progress for Ferrari? Last year they finished 3/4th of a min behind the MercedesAMG a gap they must expect to slash Sunday.
- The Ferrari has been getting off the beautifully and this could be their Key to upsetting MercedesAMG’s’ weekend. If Red leads Silver at the start Messrs Rosberg and Hamilton bosses will have to get creative with their strategies.
- While MercedesAMG have dominated the opening 4 races, technical problems for both their cars during the Russian Grand Prix gives Ferrari reason to be optimistic.
Also in View: Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, 18 anni.
- Red Bull sent the brash Daniil Kvyat back to Toro Rosso after his blundering start to the last race which spoiled the weekend for 3 of their 4 cars. Mr. Kvyat has traded places with Max Verstappen.
- The newly-promoted teenager has handled everything thrown at him since making his debut last year. With Red Bull enjoying a better-than-expected start to Y 2016, young Mr. Verstappen has moved up at the right time. Expect a podium sooner rather than later.
- Mr. Verstappen was criticised by some for his complaints on the team radio during the Australian Grand Prix. But, what really matters is his results, and but for a power unit failure in Sochi he would have started and finished every race this year inside the Top 10.
Spanish Grand Prix 2016: Where to watch practice live, preview and track facts
The 1st practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix starts at 9:00 BST, with Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports F1 HD providing live coverage in the UK Real-time internet updates are available on the Live Timing section of Formula One’s official website.
Live coverage of the 2nd practice session starts at 1:00p BST.
- Circuit name: Circuit De Barcelona – Catalunya
- First F1 Race: 1991
- Circuit length: 4.655kms
- Number of laps: 66
- Race distance: 307.104kms
- Lap record: 1:21.670 Kimi Raikkonen (2008)
- Most wins: Michael Schumacher (6)
- 2015 winner: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
- 2015 pole: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
Drivers’ Championship review
Nico Rosberg (100 points) leads teammate Lewis Hamilton by 43 pts after a perfect start in the 1st 4 races of the season. He has already built a healthy lead and is favorite for the title this season.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen (43 pts) is 3rd, and will be delighted to be ahead of his teammate Sebastian Vettel (33 pts), who has had his share of bad luck after 2 DNF’s in 2 out of the 4 races this campaign.
Daniel Ricciardo (36 pts) is in 4th place ahead of the German Ferrari driver after a good start by the Red Bull Racing Team, who are not as bad as 1st feared by Christian Horner. Sebastian Vettel will be hoping for a clean race at the Circuit de Catalunya, in the hope of catching his teammate and mounting a challenge for the MercedesAMG drivers.
Constructors’ Championship review
MercedesAMG have built an 81-pt lead over 2nd placed Ferrari with 1-2 finishes in 2 races so far as the Maranello-based team failed to finish both cars in 3 out of the 4 races.
Red Bull Racing (57 pts) are in 3rd place, but Williams have closed the gap to just 6 pts after the Austrian team failed to score points at the previous race in Russia. McLaren (10 pts) are in 7th after a confidence boosting result in the previous race when Fernando Alonso finished in 6th place.
|RACE||Ferrari N.V.||Intraday Analysis||Add to Watch List||FAQ|
|NYSE:RACE||43.13||12 May 2016||-0.03||43.53||43.64||42.79||307,900|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Neutral (0.16)||Neutral (0.01)||Neutral (-0.05)||Very Bullish (0.51)|