What to expect at the Spanish Grand Prix
Well, let us begin with Mercedes, shall we?
Lewis Hamilton has been on a winning spree and if it wasn’t for the misfiring cylinder in Australia, he might very well have been sitting with four straight wins. That would mean Nico would have had four second place finishes. Except for the Bahrain GP, Nico has seemed to be behind Lewis by quite some distance. So given the fact that Mercedes has a beautiful car, and Lewis drives it to the limit, it would be a no-brainer to predict that Lewis will win unless Nico produces something magical.
The team sitting second in the constructors is Red Bull Racing, who still lack that straight line speed which gave Fernando Alonso his podium in the Chinese GP. Daniel Ricciardo is not taking it easy on Vettel; either that, or he may have adapted better to the RBR10 than the four-time world champion. The Barcelona track has a long start-finish straight where the Red Bull might find some difficulties before their strengths come into play. To me, Red Bull look set to finish behind the Mercedes, and their fans would hope that the gap this time would be a lot less.
The biggest threats to Red Bull seem to be coming from the Ferrari and Force India . Alonso has managed to get something more out of the Ferrari car while Kimi Raikkonen is visibly struggling to get a smooth lap out of it. As far as Force India is concerned, Nico Hulkenberg seems to be more confident in the car than Sergio Perez (who has only 3 points apart from the podium). They have managed to keep the Williams of Massa and Bottas behind them but one can argue that Massa has had no favours from Lady Luck – right from the pit-stop error to a collision where he was a passenger and the safety car completely ruining their race strategy.
Though Force India have the momentum, Alonso has disclosed that Ferrari will be bringing in some major updates, and those might just help them get closer to the Mercedes.
It will be an interesting battle for the places from fifth to ninth. It would even more exciting if Toro Rosso and McLaren step up their game. McLaren had a fantastic opening race in Melbourne but the slope since then has been going down and getting steeper. Button has said that he’s finding the pace of the car ‘unacceptable’! Can’t blame him, can we?
Among the pieces that remain, Lotus have got some good mileage on the car and are expected to get in a few upgrades and hopefully battle for the last 2-3 points positions. But, well, they’ve got Pastor Maldonado!
Sauber has had a miserable start to 2014 and it is about time that they really put up a good performance or their points account will be ‘clean’ (English translation of Sauber) for the rest of the season. And I really cannot bear to see Adrian Sutil’s girlfriend displaying that sad face every race.
As far as the tail-enders are concerned, Kobayashi has been decent and we all know Max Chilton will finish the race.
Let’s see what happens at Circuit-De-Catalyuna, Spain in a week’s time!