If you were to note the way the current Formula 1 World championship has panned out so far, then you’ll discover that it has unfurled a sequence of sorts.
A sequence where two of the leading drivers of the ongoing championship fight – Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc – are concerned.
So how’s that?
Charles Leclerc won the curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix, which was followed by Max Verstappen winning at Saudi Arabia. Next, Charles went on to win the Australian Grand Prix, which was followed by Max winning the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix held at Imola.
It’s only after the first four races that the pattern – a Ferrari win followed by a Red Bull win changed.
Round five of the championship, held at Miami, a first for Formula 1, was clinched in domineering fashion by Verstappen.
So what’s next in Spain? A Charles win?
SportsTiger brings you the key predictions for what’s going to be the 52nd time that the Spanish Grand Prix will be featured in a Formula 1 world championship.
Red Bull will get the fastest lap of the race
One of the possible outcomes – and there’s no surety, but just conjecture is that the race win will remain elusive for Red Bull in Spain. Their last victory coming back in 2016 thanks to the dogged triumph of Max Verstappen, who was just as relentless back then as he is today.
The only driver since then to have dominated the Spanish caravan, if one would put it like that, has been none other than seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton.
But in 2022, the win will desert Red Bull, who’ll nevertheless remain utterly competitive and shall contest with manic race pace.
Already stalwarts of engineering blazingly fast pit stops, the Christian Horner team will go as far as dominating the charts where setting the fastest lap time for the race in Spain is concerned.
Perez will get a podium
He won at Sakhir in 2020 and followed it up with a sensational win at Baku the following year (2021). He’s stood on the Istanbul podium on multiple occasions and has dominated tracks like Montreal, Monza and Monaco.
But never once has Sergio Perez claimed a podium here in Spain, something that will likely change for the better come May 22, the date marked for the forthcoming Grand Prix at Catalunya, Barcelona.
Sergio Perez, who’s tasted some success given his consecutive P2 results at Australia and Imola as also the ignominy of a DNF in Bahrain, will come out all guns blazing in Spain.
He’ll be keen to improve what have, thus far, been nothing more than modest results in Spain; a P5 in 2020 would be followed by another in 2021.
And while a win may be a touch difficult to claim given the Ferraris will be keen to pounce back hard at Red Bull, Perez will hopefully delight fans and get up on the podium to claim his maiden one in Fernando Alonso-land!
One of the Ferrari drivers will clinch the race win
Having failed to win the last two Grands Prix at Imola, followed by Miami, Ferrari will, undoubtedly be the team to watch out for this coming weekend.
Leclerc, who missed out on scoring a podium at Imola, given his P6, an effort that would be followed by a P2 at Miami, will be keen to exhibit his form and ascendency come the Spanish Grand Prix.
He’s never claimed a win at the track and his most recent drive in 2021 yielded a P4; he’d retire here in 2020.
But this weekend, Ferrari’s golden boy will find massive fight from none other than his own teammate – Carlos Sainz, who it ought to be remembered will also be contesting in his home race event.
Sainz will be just as keen to go for the win as his more experienced Ferrari teammate.
Having always finished among points here in Spain will be the motivation that will spur Sainz to go for something special come the 66-lap race.
And resulting from this healthy competition that has no space for embitterment, Ferrari will hopefully emerge as the big winners at Catalunya.
Vettel and Alonso will finish in points
Fernando Alonso from Oviedo, Spain and Sebastian Vettel of Heppenheim, Germany are two great titans of the sport who have amid them a collective tally of 620 race starts and 6 world championships that have, cumulatively speaking, produced 5047 points in the sport’s top flight.
But so far, with five races done, the dazzling duo hasn’t quite produced anything spectacular or worth raving about.
While he missed out the first two Grands Prix this season given his run-in with COVID 19, which meant sitting out in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Sebastian Vettel would also endure a DNF in Australia, a performance that would be followed by a P8 in Imola.
It’s Vettel’s best performance so far. A P17 in Miami wouldn’t help his cause one bit.
On the other hand, Fernando Alonso, the driver to have raced in most seasons in the sport so far, has scored points on only one occasion so far, that being the season-opening Bahrain (scored P9). He’d go on to endure two DNFs thereafter.
Having said that, both drivers will enter the Spanish Grand Prix looking to score points in a bid to take the fight to the midfield.
And one reckons, both experienced and multiple championship-winning drivers will go on to score in Spain. There’ll be that burning desire to cover lost ground and make up for the lost chances they’ve suffered so far.
On his part, Fernando Alonso will be keener to get going – this being his home race, the venue of a mega 2013 win with Ferrari.
But then, it’ll also be highly unlikely that both finish inside the top five on the grid.