Here’s a few thoughts on the Grand Prix ahead this weekend, keeping it to just five points, and as ever, using the Mansell Red Five Index Theorem. Saving you time reading and our time writing.
Ultimately the following may be just as exciting as the Spanish GP itself, but at least we have five points not 57 laps.
- Max Verstappen at Red Bull. One good performance from the young gun and the whole Dani Kvyat affair will blow over quickly, and given how much he has impressed thus far in his short F1 career who would really be surprised if he gets a podium in his first race for the senior Red Bull team. The fallout for Dan Ricciardo will be interesting if Max takes over as the new Red Bull power. A Ferrari seat may not be available if Vettel doesn’t fell like taking on the Australian again. Wouldn’t bet on Max beating Dan anytime soon though.
- Talking of Ferrari, is this the long awaited race where Ferrari put it all together and seriously challenge Mercedes. Half of F1’s image problem is that Mercedes are rarely troubled for pole. Thankfully their occasional poor starts have made the races interesting in parts. Maybe the Ferraris could put in a big P1 session to prove their worth for the weekend and Vettel is $7 to top the first practice on Friday.
- Talking of Mercedes, surely the toys can’t stay in the pram for too much longer if Nico Rosberg gets the better of Lewis Hamilton again. Given some of the snippy interviews Lewis Hamilton gave at the Russian GP, I wouldn’t want to be asking him questions come Sunday afternoon if the number 6 salutes for the eighth time in a row. Although some keyboard warriors suggestions of Mercedes deliberately hurting Lewis’ car is absurd, and Toto Wolff was right to rubbish them. No team wants their driver not to win, maybe except for Ferrari in 1999 who would have had a lot of explaining the Michael Schumacher spend if Eddie Irvine won the title. You could get better than bank interest with a bet on a Mercedes pole (either car) at $1.09. Or take the value of a Mercedes driver taking pole, fastest lap and the win at $5.20/$5.60.
- Given the Renaults unreliability and issues so far in 2016, the $8.10 offered for first team retirement looks extremely good value. With the Spanish GP likely to be the Mercedes Grand Prix for pole and race, you have to look for value where you can. They will be in the sweet spot for first corner issues in the lower midfield.
- Probably lap 57 finishing. Spanish GPs are usually quite the dull affair, and the finish can’t come soon enough some years. Happy to be proven wrong. You could bet on the fastest lap to stay awake as that could happen anytime, and can come at the end as drivers release their boredom into one super lap.