Spanish pilots Fernando Alonso (Alpine) y Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) arrive with extra motivation at their ‘home’ race, the Spanish Grand Prix which will be held this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the fourth round of the Formula 1 World Cup which Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) arrives as a leader ahead of Max Verstappen (Red Bull).
In the case of Alonso, it will be his first F1 race on national soil since 2018, when he last raced with McLaren, although he will not be able to enjoy the breath of the 140,000 fans who used to crowd the stands of the Barcelona circuit before the pandemic.
Instead, a thousand ‘privileged’, subscribers of Barcelona-Catalonia circuit chosen by chance, will be able to cheer on the two Spanish pilots, who face the fourth round of the championship with opposing feelings after what happened last Sunday at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Sainz arrives after suffering his first disappointment since he disembarked at Ferrari, since, after a very good qualifying, his team failed in the tire strategy and the Madrid driver did not even manage to score. “I’m still a step behind where I would like, but I am not the least bit concerned, “he said before the Spanish test, aware that he is still in the process of adapting to the ‘Scuderia’.
More hopeful comes Fernando Alonso after the good news he reaped in PortimaoContrary to Sainz, with a poor qualification and the surprise on Sunday with a great race pace that put him in the fight with McLaren for being the best team in the middle zone. Montmeló, a circuit where it is difficult to overtake, will put Alpine’s improvement to the test.
Hamilton, King of Montmeló
As for the fight for victory, Hamilton and Verstappen have divided the first two positions in all the races of the present World Cup, but the English lead with eight points of advantage after his triumph on the Portuguese asphalt.
In addition, the seven-time world champion returns with full confidence to a circuit where he has emerged as a dictator during the last five years and has already accumulated four consecutive victories. In fact, Verstappen himself was the last winning driver in 2016 before his rival for the title began his Barcelona streak.
Behind this heads up for the championship, third place is for the surprising Lando Norris (McLaren), already to 32 lead points and five ahead of Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), that one more year begins to drop from the fight too soon. Close the ‘Top 5’ Charles Leclerc, who doubles in points to a Sainz determined to vindicate himself in his country. In the weather forecast, clear skies and mild temperatures around 20 degrees.
First practice session 11.30 – 12.30.
Second practice session 15.00 – 16.00.
Third practice session 12.00 – 13.00.
Qualification session 15.00 – 16.00.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.