Spanish Grand Prix 2019 Betting Preview, Tips and Odds
- Lewis Hamilton to be fastest in Practice 1 - 7/4 with Betway
- Qualifying winning margin under 0.1sec - 5/4 with Bet365
- Kimi Raikkonen to finish in the top 6 - 9/4 with Paddy Power
In 2018, the Spanish Grand Prix gave Mercedes their first 1-2 finish of the year. This term, as we go into the fifth race of the season, the German team have finished first and second in every single contests to date - and the best Formula 1 sites have priced them accordingly with Mercedes priced as 4/9 favourites with William Hill to be the winning team.
Formula 1 betting fans will find it hard to oppose the ‘silver arrows’ this weekend under those circumstances albeit they were gifted the Bahrain Grand Prix when the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc encountered engine troubles when in a seemingly unassailable lead. And fans of the Italian team will like their chances based on winter testing which was staged here at the Circuit Catalunya and saw Ferrari shine.
But it cannot be forgotten that a Ferrari has not started on pole here since 2008 and since we entered the 1.6 litre V6 hybrid era in 2014, a Mercedes has started on pole at this circuit every single time, winning four of the five races – the only exception was 2016 when both cars crashed out at the opening bends.
Big Margins, Processional Racing
Barcelona is an old-fashioned circuit which offers very limited overtaking opportunities for modern day cars and it is, therefore, renowned for professional racing.
Consequently, pole starters have won 15 of the last 18 races here and leaders can often disappear off into the distance – as was the case twelve months ago when Hamilton won by over 20 seconds.
No Safety Car Required
Naturally, safety car intervention could scupper anyone’s chances but, once again, the stats make for grim reading for those craving an action-packed race. A full safety car (not the ‘virtual’ variety) has been needed just three times here in the past decade.
It was called into action in 2016 when Lewis Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg famously collided on the opening lap and twelve months ago when an errant Romain Grosjean caused opening bend chaos. If we get the opening lap completed cleanly – which was not supposed to happen last time in Baku but did – a ‘no safety car’ scenario will surely become a massively short price thereafter.
Practice Belongs to Mercedes
There are plenty of opportunities starting with Friday’s opening practice session. Last time around, in Baku, the first practice session was voided early on. In the three previous Grand Prix Hamilton, Leclerc and Vettel have topped the time-sheets and overall it has been honours even with Ferrari and Mercedes each going fastest in five of the 11 completed practice sessions. - something to keep in mind when considering your Formula 1 betting strategy.
However, the history books also show Mercedes had a clean sweep of all three practice sessions here in 2018 and 2016 and they took two of them in 2017 and 2015. There is no balance of form, as the weight of probability bears down heavily on the side of Lewis Hamilton.
Qualifying by Tiny Margins
A key feature of the current season is the improved form of Valtteri Bottas. Two poles, two race wins and two seconds will have strengthened his chances of keeping his seat at Mercedes in 2020 and, like Nico Rosberg a few seasons back, he is now a teammate that will keep Lewis Hamilton honest and not act as a whipping boy.
His qualification performances in the last two races have seen him prevail by 0.06sec, 0.01sec (ahead of Hamilton). He was just 0.1sec adrift of a pole-setting Hamilton in the season-opening race in Australia and while neither claimed pole position in the second race of the season, in Bahrain, the gap between Bottas and Hamilton was just 0.06sec once more.
A Mercedes front-row lockout looks a rightful favourite on Saturday but the better bet is the margin of superiority which will surely be low.
Kimi in Top-Six Race Market
Pre-qualification race win markets rarely offer any value, the prices on offer are always correct to within just a few percentage points. Amongst those I do think the 150/1 with BetVictorabout Pierre Gasly is marginally too big. In a Red Bull car which will has a solid record at this circuit, he’s worth a few speculative each-way pennies.
The better bet for those wishing to support a driver in the race is Kimi Raikkonen in the top-6 market. Remarkably the Finnish veteran has finished within the top 10 of all of the past 31 races he has completed and before being moved to the Alfa Romeo
he was on a run of 27 consecutive top-6 finishes (amongst completed races). His car went well here in winter testing and, at a standout 9/4 with Paddy Power, he looks great value to record his best finish of the year.
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