Lewis Hamilton hopes to turn around his slow start to the 2022 Formula 1 season when he arrives in Barcelona this weekend in pursuit of a sixth straight victory at the Spanish Grand Prix.
While Lewis Hamilton has been a fixture on the podium in Barcelona, he has failed to maintain his traditional winning ways this year. Hamilton has reached the podium just once through the first five races of the season.
Hamilton’s early-season struggles are reflected on the Spanish Grand Prix odds, where he lags well back of the favourites as a +1400 bet. Fresh off back-to-back wins in Australia and Miami, defending F1 champion Max Verstappen has emerged as a slim -106 favourite to take home the checkered flag. Currently perched atop the Formula 1 Drivers Standings, Charles Leclerc is pegged as a close +109 second-favourite. Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz rounds out the front of the pack at +900.
Spanish Grand Prix Race Time, Weather Forecast
Lights out at the this year’s running of the Spanish Grand Prix is set for Sunday morning at 9 a.m. ET at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The long-time home of the Spanish Grand Prix, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya measures 4.675 kilometres in length and features two DRS zones.
Weather is unlikely to be a factor, with sunny skies in the forecast throughout the weekend. However, Sunday is expected to be hot. Temperatures are expected to reach into the low 30s Celsius by race time, setting the stage for wide use of hard C1 and C2 tires.
Can Hamilton Make it Six in a Row in Barcelona?
In addition to racing to victory in each of the past five editions of the race, Hamilton has captured the pole position six times over his past eight appearances. He has also recorded the fastest lap in three appearances. However, with Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate George Russell struggling to keep pace with Ferrari and Red Bull, another Hamilton win this time around is far from assured.
Indeed, Russell may be the better bet to maintain the Silver Arrows’ string of success at this event. While Russell has yet to earn a win, the 24-year-old has been steady in his Mercedes debut. He finished within the top five in each of his first five outings, and his +399 odds to reach the podium for the second time this season are worth a value bet.
Verstappen, Leclerc Rivalry Heating Up
After failing to finish two of the first three races of the season, Verstappen faced the daunting task of chasing down frontrunner Leclerc, who has tallied two wins and two second-place finishes during a breakthrough campaign.
Verstappen fulfilled the promise by turning in impressive victories in Miami and Australia. And considering he has reached the podium in five of six editions of this race, including his first ever F1 victory back in 2016, it is a little surprising that he does not sport shorter odds.
Don’t Count Out Sainz in Homecoming
Of course, it is unwise to count out Ferrari. Leclerc has been dominant in qualifying, claiming the pole in three of five outings. He was joined at the front of the grid in Miami by Sainz, who has started four of five races from the front two rows. Now racing in front of his fellow countrymen, Sainz is due to catch a break after failing to finish two of the first five races, and is worth taking as a -167 wager to return to the podium for the fourth time this season.
Spanish Grand Prix Prediction
Carlos Sainz podium finish (-167); George Russell podium finish (+399).